Japan's Flood Control System

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Cyclones, tsunamis and typhoons can wreak havoc in certain parts of Asia, especially in places where there is little infrastructure to protect residents. One example is Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which left 6,000 people dead and 4 million people without homes.

Many governments simply do not have the resources to build effecient drainage system, but but Japan is another story. Japan has gone through its economic ups and downs, but it is a country that invests heavily in technology and engineering to combat flooding and earth quakes. For residents in the city of Saitama, their sewer (flood prevention system) is so elaborate and ornate, many believe underground cities can be built from within.


This underground structure was started in 1992, with a 240 billion yen budget. It includes massive concrete silos that are 213 feet tall and 105 feet wide. These silos are connected by nearly 4 miles of underground roughly 164 miles below the city's surface. Within the system is a giant tank supported by 59 behemoth columns. The government constructed this mega storm drain to address flooding issues in the Saitama Prefecture, particularly on the eastern side. Proposing the idea of building a city in this flooding system is not an exaggeration, but human settlement is out of the question, since the main goal of this underground network is to deal with massive flooding from typhoons and tsunamis.


It connects to the Edo, Naka and Otoshifurutone rivers, meant to channel any flood water through the network and back out to Mother Nature. But, if these are rivers are flooded as well, any excess water will be sifted through five tunnels that are channel into a giant reservoir, until it is released manually when outside flooding waters die down. It is a wonder that few people will get to see, so much so that this flood control system is opened to tourists.

Japanese Sewers

It is a modern marvel in its own right, and Japan has rich history of constructing underground disposal networks. Japan's first sewer dates back 2,000 years ago, and there was a 1300 year old system that ran through village of Heijo-kyo. Taiko Sewerage is a 500 year old culvert that was built around Osaka castle, and it is still functional today. The first modern sewer system in Japan was constructed in 1884, but it wasn't until post-World War II that gave way to public systems throughout Japan.

The Saitama system not only points stellar engineering process, but it is indicative of the investment and technology needed to sustain such a large project. It is a shame more countries do not aspire to building mega public works projects like Japan. It could certainly play an integral role in saving more lives.


Pictures from Fun on the Net.

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