Flooded bullet trains show Japan’s risks from disasters

By The Associated Press

TOKYO — The typhoon that ravaged Japan last week hit with unusual speed and ferocity, leaving homes buried in mud and people stranded on rooftops.

But nothing spoke more of the powerlessness of modernization against natural disasters than rows of bullet trains deluged in floodwaters in Nagano, a mountainous region to the northwest of Tokyo.

Japan’s technological prowess and meticulous attention to detail are sometimes no match for rising risks in a precarious era of climate change.

Experts say they also instil a false sense of security in a country inured to danger by the constant threat of calamitous earthquakes, tsunami and volcanos.

With increasingly extreme weather, the government, businesses and individuals need rethink preparedness.

Japan’s readiness for disasters is still based on data collected decades ago and is behind the times.

The Associated Press

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