Tsunami Risk Affects Plans For Olympic Sailing

Tsunami risk affects plans for Olympic sailing

The organizing committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics has decided to reduce the number of spectators for a sailing event by over 30 percent to allow a quick evacuation if a tsunami occurs.

The organizers had initially set a maximum capacity of 5,000 spectators for the venue on the Enoshima coast of Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo.

But they lowered the figure to 3,300 after discussing tsunami evacuation measures with local municipalities.

The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 devastated the region. Experts estimate the probability of a quake on this scale striking the area within the next 30 years at zero to five percent.

They say a tsunami with a maximum height of 6.4 meters could arrive within seven minutes of a mega-quake.

The committee decided to cap the number of spectators to ensure that everyone can be safely evacuated to higher ground or hotels if a disaster strikes. The total figure, including staff and media personnel, will be 5,700.

Evacuation drills will be held at the venue this summer.