Scrapped Dam May Have Limited Flood Damage in Kumamoto Rains

Politics Lifestyle

Kumamoto, Aug. 26 (Jiji Press)--A scrapped dam project could have limited the damage from the flooding of the Kuma River system in the heavy rains that hit the southwestern Japan prefecture of Kumamoto in July if the dam had been built, government calculations have shown.

The estimations showed that the dam, called the Kawabegawa dam, may have reduced the peak river flow rate to two-thirds in the city of Hitoyoshi in Kumamoto if it had been constructed as planned.

The calculations were compiled by the land ministry’s Kyushu Regional Development Bureau and announced at the first meeting of a disaster review committee made up of members from the central government, the Kumamoto prefectural government and 12 municipalities located alongside the river system on Tuesday.

According to the bureau, the peak flow rate of the Kuma River at the time of the disaster, which led to many lost lives and homes, is estimated to have come to around 7,500 tons per second on a preliminary basis, based on the flood levels around the water level observation stations in Hitoyoshi.

If flood adjustment was done through the dam, the bureau estimates that the peak flow rate would have fallen to around 4,700 tons per second.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press