Flooded Trains Show Disaster Risks in Japan
Typhoon Hagibis struck Japan with unusual force and wind speeds last week.
The storm produced heavy rainfall and flooding in many areas. The water caused landslides as well as floods that left people trapped on building tops.
Newspapers and other media published images of bullet trains, known to Japanese as Shinkansen, that were flooded in Nagano, a mountainous area northwest of Tokyo. The pictures show the ability of natural disasters to slow down modern life.
Experts say periods of calm can cause a false sense of security in a country inured to danger by the threat of earthquakes, tsunami and volcanos.
"Weather conditions in Japan up to now have been relatively moderate," noted Toshitaka Katada, an expert on disasters and a professor at the University of Tokyo.
Katada said Japan's readiness for disasters is still based on information collected many years ago.
"Damage gets multiplied when people are overly confident about their safety," he added.
Rescue efforts have continued in the days since the typhoon first struck land near Tokyo. Then the storm turned northward before moving over the Pacific Ocean and weakening.
The number of dead and missing continues to increase. At least 100 people have been injured in Nagano, Fukushima, Miyagi and other central and northern prefectures.
Floodwaters caused damage to at least 10 Shinkansen trains, each with 12 cars, in Nagano, said an East Japan Railway Company official. Electronic equipment under the cars was likely totally wrecked, he added.
Extreme weather more common
For years, scientists have warned about the move toward extreme weather, including intensifying ocean storms.
Some say the damage from landslides and flooding is a sign of the vulnerability of some Japanese communities. They say engineers never really thought about conditions like heavy rains when homes and public infrastructure were built.
Although scientists are doing better at predicting weather conditions, it is still difficult to find out the paths of storms and the damage they may bring. So says Chris Field, director of the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University in California.
"The message for typhoon-prone areas is that all should prepare for a future of stronger storms," Field said.
"It is important to understand and respond to the evidence that storms are getting stronger as a result of climate change and that investments in disaster prevention need to rise," he said.
Japan already is in crisis over its aging infrastructure. Governments lack the money and workers to repair and replace tunnels, bridges and other structures to meet new rules for resistance to earthquakes and other disasters.
Observers say there also is an urgent need to improve early warning systems and to help people move out of vulnerable areas, Field and other experts said.
Top officials gave clear and early warnings about the dangers of Typhoon Hagibis. They held an emergency press conference several days before the expected landfall.
"Please take measures to save your own life," Japan's public broadcaster NHK announced.
But while warnings targeted areas with as many as several million people, far fewer – tens of thousands – acted on those warnings.
Japanese need to be more aware of disaster risks and to do more to prepare on their own instead of counting on the government to take care of them, experts said.
Hiroaki Maruya, a disaster expert and professor at Tohoku University in Sendai, said Japan built many dams and flood control structures after World War II to limit disasters.
But strengthening such infrastructure is costly and will take time.
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1.take measures to 采取措施
We should take measures to protect our environment.
2.urgent need 迫切需要
The refugees are in urgent need of medical supplies.
3.tens of thousands 数万的
Like Chinese Spring Festival, on this day, tens of thousands of people no matter how busy, should be and their families.
4.acted on 按照...行事
He suggested what I should do and I acted on his advice.
5.Observers say there also is an urgent need to improve early warning systems and to help people move out of vulnerable areas, Field and other experts said.
move out of 搬离
My landlord made me move out of the apartment.
Maybe it's time we move out of the suburbs.
6.But while warnings targeted areas with as many as several million people, far fewer – tens of thousands – acted on those warnings.
as many as 多达；和...一样多
There are as many as 300 new products on show.
She gets as many as eight thousand letters a month.
这场风暴给很多地区带来了强降雨和洪水 。降水导致山体滑坡以及洪灾，受灾群众被困在房顶 。
报纸等媒体刊发了日本子弹头列车，即日本人所谓的“新干线列车”在东京西北山区长野县被淹的图片 。这些图片展示了自然灾害减缓现代生活的能力 。
自台风最先在东京附近登陆以来，救援工作一直在进行 。风暴随后向北部移动，然后越过太平洋并逐渐减弱 。
死亡和失踪人数仍在继续增长 。长野、福岛、宫城县以及其它中部和北部地区，至少有100人受伤 。
东日本旅客铁路公司的一位官员表示，洪水导致长野县至少10辆新干线列车受损，列车每辆有12节车厢 。他还说，车厢下方的电子设备可能完全被毁了 。
有人表示，山体滑坡和洪水造成的破坏表明日本一些社区非常薄弱 。他们说，工程师在建造房屋和公共设施时从未真正考虑过强降雨等状况 。
由于基础设施老化，日本已经陷入危机 。政府缺乏资金和工人来维修和更新隧道、桥梁等设施，以便满足抗震及其它灾害的新规定 。
高层官员就海贝思台风的危险发出了明确预警 。他们在台风预计登陆前几天就举行了紧急新闻发布会 。