JITI Disaster Prevention Workshop 2018
Strengthening Railway Countermeasures against Hurricanes and other Disasters
Thursday, December 6th, 2018
The Hay Adams Hotel
800 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006
Large-scale water disasters caused by hurricanes, typhoons and other storms are occurring more frequently around the world with serious ramifications. They are showing an increasing tendency toward localized and concentrated heavy rain, and there are growing concerns about the intensified damage from water disasters including river flooding, inland water flooding, and storm surges. These situations are considered “a new stage” of water-related natural disasters and the direction and planning of countermeasures to them is essential.
In the United States, Hurricane Michael was the fiercest storm to hit Florida in 80 years and caused severe damage in the area in 2018. Also, Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria caused extensive damages in 2017. These three storms became three of the top five worst hurricanes in the recorded history of the USA and caused tremendous amounts of damage. With regards to railway infrastructure, Hurricane Sandy caused billions of dollars in damages in 2012, with subways in NYC suffering serious damage due to the massive inflow of water into stations and tunnels. California also has been greatly affected by natural disasters, with 2018 seeing wide-spread forest fires, torrential rain, and a large-scale landslide that damaged or destroyed over 500 structures.
In Japan, torrential rain devastated West Japan, in areas such as Hiroshima and Okayama prefectures in 2018. Train operators completely or partially suspended operations on more than a 100 lines due to the outflow of railroad bridges and the ground under railroad tracks. In 2015, record levels of torrential rains falling in the Kanto and Tohoku regions caused the floodwalls along an approximately 660-foot-long stretch of the Kinugawa River to collapse, resulting in flooding that submerged about 15 square miles of land. Moreover, the Great East Japan Earthquake resulted in the loss of countless number of lives and assets in 2011. It is also predicted that a Tokyo inland earthquake and a Nankai trough mega earthquake will occur in the future.
For this workshop, JITI USA has invited experts on the countermeasures against hurricanes and other disasters from the U.S. and Japan to discuss the progress so far, especially milestones accomplished, as well as the future path for strengthening countermeasures against hurricanes and other disasters in the railway sector.
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),
the US Department of Transportation,
the Federal Railroad Administration,
the Federal Transit Administration,
the DC Department of Transportation,
the World Bank, etc.