As the Japanese government prepares for a another mega earthquake that could strike anytime, Nagoya projected around 6,700 people could be killed if a 9.0 magnitude strikes along the Nankai Trough hits the city. The number is 1.5 times more than the previous estimate by Japan’s central city’s government.
With the city’s population now at 2.27 million, they projected around 15,000 people would be injured if the quake happens on a late winter night. In May of last year, only 4,600 people would be affected by a powerful trembler as estimated by Aichi Prefecture, which Nagoya is part of. In the new study, Nagoya city’s government predicts around 51,000 buildings could be destroyed in the city and around 373,000 would be refugees a week after it occurred, based on past data. The city also estimated the damage a magnitude 7 earthquake would bring, such as a 3.6 meters high tsunami that could submerge the port of Nagoya, and flooding of around 1 centimeter or more deep in about a quarter of the city. The recent study also predicts 2,100 people would be killed by debris and falling buildings, while 4,400 by tsunami and 300 by fire.
According to city officials, the damage could be more severe if the quake happens at night as buildings could collapse on sleeping people and they have a slower chance of getting away from an incoming tsunami. They also projected 34,000 buildings would be destroyed by the quake, 5,900 by fire and 7,500 by tsunami. 2,800 would be affected by the ground crumbling. But if it happens during winter, heaters and fire used by the residents to keep them warm may increase fire deaths to 21,000. City officials recommended several preventive measures to the people, saying it could lessen the number of deaths. Making homes resistant to earthquakes, securing furniture especially those that could fall or cause fires and early evacuation would help. An official from Nagoya’s fire department noted, “Casualties can be reduced by quick evacuation. It’s important to be prepared for the worst.”