Nankai Quake Max Death Toll Estimate Cut to 231,000

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, May 31 (Jiji Press)--Up to some 231,000 people would die or go missing if a mega earthquake occurs in the Nankai Trough off Japan's Pacific coast, the government's central disaster management council said in its latest damage estimate on Friday.

The updated estimate, unveiled at the day's meeting of the panel, is down by 90,000 from the 323,000 forecast as of August 2012.

The Cabinet Office believes that the drop reflects growing awareness about the importance of early evacuation from tsunami among residents in areas on the Pacific side of the country.

The new figure was calculated based on latest population, infrastructure and other data, as well as the results of a survey conducted with residents about tsunami evacuation awareness.

The council, chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also said that the maximum number of buildings that would be destroyed by the Nankai Trough quake or burned down by fires to be caused by the temblor is projected to total 2,094,000, down from the previous forecast of 2,386,000.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press