Exactly 4 weeks have now passed since the landslide in my son’s city and almost 3 weeks have passed since I received the news that he is safe notwithstanding events there. I said that it would post about this issue again. News of the landslide has now faded not only from the headlines in Japan but also from the news generally. According to the Wall Street Journal blogs site on 3 September 2014, the number of dead now stands at 72 with 2 people still missing; I have not been able to find anything more recent than this. At least the death toll will be somewhat less than the earlier ‘missing’ figures suggested. Local evacuation ‘advisories’ are reported as having been lifted. This article from 2 September 2014 contains a series of close-up photographs which show some of the devastation in local neighbourhoods at close quarters.
Given the severity of what happened and the fact that lessons were not learned from the previous (and less deadly) Hiroshima landslide in 1999, one has to hope that the issue has not also slipped from the consciousness of decision makers in Hiroshima and elsewhere in Japan, given that Hiroshima-ken is particularly prone to this sort of incident. Since I last posted on the issue, the only other significant coverage as regards the need for better readiness – and more common-sense positioning of residential properties – was this letter on 3 September 2014 in The Japan Times. Change can be slow in Japan but this is one of those issues where that is not a good thing.