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Science & Technology

Japan to build giant 250-mile-long seawall

March 25, 2015 | Comment icon 53 comments



The wall will stretch for 250 miles along Japan's coastline. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Junpei Satoh
The enormous four-storey high structure has been designed to protect the coast against tsunamis.
Having seen more than its fair share of devastating tsunamis in recent years, Japan is now set to become home to one of the most ambitious tidal defence projects the world has ever seen.

With an estimated cost of $6.8 billion, the huge seawall will stretch along 250 miles of the country's coastline while reaching heights of up to 12.5m, the equivalent of a four-storey building.

Some have taken to calling it "The Great Wall of Japan".
Despite providing protection against future disasters however not everyone is too keen on the idea. Some argue that the sheer size of the project would represent a significant eyesore and that the money would be better spent looking for a more practical solution to the problem.

"The safest thing is for people to live on higher ground and for people's homes and their workplaces to be in separate locations," said Tsuneaki Iguchi, the mayor of a town damaged by the last tsunami.

"If we do that, we don't need to have a 'Great Wall'."

Given the amount of damage caused by the 2011 tsunami however, in particular that sustained by the Fukushmia nuclear plant, it is understandable that authorities will be looking for a solution that will mitigate the potential for future disaster as much as possible.

Source: Independent | Comments (53)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #44 Posted by lucille 7 years ago
good measure . New Orleans needed one too ..
Comment icon #45 Posted by Father Merrin 7 years ago
good measure . New Orleans needed one too .. Give it 100 years, every coastal residency will need more than a concrete wall!
Comment icon #46 Posted by darkmoonlady 7 years ago
One town had a larger than usual tsunami wall and survived the tsunami pretty much unscathed. Could be seeing that gave other Japanese coastal towns nearly obliterated some pause for thought. Even if it costs billions rebuilding in the same areas destroyed in the 2011 disaster means they are just as susceptible should another earthquake occur. Japan has limited area for building so unless they want to move everything away from the coastline, building a wall is still going to be cheaper and safer in the long run. The fault line isn't going away and more earthquakes will happen. Just a matter of... [More]
Comment icon #47 Posted by thebigbang 7 years ago
Pacific rim? The Japanese know the kaijus are coming.toyota and honda will build the jaegers maybe a prius version.
Comment icon #48 Posted by Sundew 7 years ago
Give it 100 years, every coastal residency will need more than a concrete wall! Funny, the Clown-Prince of global warming, Al Gore, just bought a seaside house in Montecito, CA, his forth luxury residence. He doesn't seem worried.
Comment icon #49 Posted by Father Merrin 7 years ago
Funny, the Clown-Prince of global warming, Al Gore, just bought a seaside house in Montecito, CA, his forth luxury residence. He doesn't seem worried. i shouldn't think it will be his worry in 100 years
Comment icon #50 Posted by thenIsaid 7 years ago
It's known fact that mangrove forests disperse the force of tsunamis and drastically reduce potential damage. I assume it is too cold in Japan for mangrove forests, but a similar concept seems plausible. I would think that rather than a solid wall, which seems like it would be hideous, depressing, and perhaps not all that reliable, why not try a different approach, using something that would be more flexible and disperse the force? I'm not an engineer, but I would imagine something like this could even be kept in storage or perhaps just lay along the ocean floor in some kind of containers and,... [More]
Comment icon #51 Posted by Myles 7 years ago
I'm not an engineer, but I would imagine something like this could even be kept in storage or perhaps just lay along the ocean floor in some kind of containers and, when the need arose, it could be inflated or positioned through various means, implemented only when needed. Ocean airbags.
Comment icon #52 Posted by MordorOrc 7 years ago
I don't understand why people here seem against this kind of thing. The Japanese living along that stretch of coastline had been living with tsunami walls their entire lives. The problem was that the walls were not tall enough, with the water just flowing over the top. People really don't seem to understand that there aren't that many options when it comes to future protection, although at least the Japanese will be able to better plan tsunami evacuation routes and better prepare themselves for future disasters.
Comment icon #53 Posted by DieChecker 7 years ago
Americans are against it because this would never happen in America. Just look at the people who live on the Outerbanks along the Atlantic.... They get wiped out time after time and just rebuild on the same beach not seeming to learn anything... over and over again.


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