JDR Vol.7 No.6 pp. 701-710
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2012.p0701


Analysis of the Impact of Water-Supply Outages Due to Multiple Factors Caused by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake

Yasuko Kuwata and Tasuku Okamoto

Department of Civil Engineering, Kobe University, Rokkodai 1, Nada, Kobe, Hyogo 657-8501, Japan

July 17, 2012
October 4, 2012
December 1, 2012
the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, water supply, restoration time
The Tohoku earthquake, which occurred on March 11, 2011, caused water-supply outages to 2.2 million households in 187 cities and towns. This earthquake impacted on natural and social events, adversely affecting the water-supply system. For instance, there were long-term disruptions of regional water supplies, long-term electric power outages, extensive liquefaction damage, and damage caused by the tsunami. These multiple factors made the damage pattern complex, and water-supply restoration was delayed even though seismic ground motion was moderate. This study attempts to elucidate the factors that caused water-supply restoration to be delayed following the earthquake and to measure the earthquake impact on water-supply outages in terms of restoration time and the households affected by the water-supply outage. As a result, the long restoration time for the water supply following the Tohoku earthquake could be explained by a combination of factors, including restoration time for electric power and regional water supplies and pipeline repair in liquefaction areas, in addition to time for pipeline repair following past earthquakes. Pipeline repair required twice the time compared to past earthquakes.
Cite this article as:
Y. Kuwata and T. Okamoto, “Analysis of the Impact of Water-Supply Outages Due to Multiple Factors Caused by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.7 No.6, pp. 701-710, 2012.
Data files:
  1. [1] Japan Society for Civil Engineering, Earthquake Engineering Committee, “Reconnaissance Report on Damage in the East Japan Earthquake Disaster,” Chapter 10: Damage to Water Supply Facilities, pp. 10-1-10-6, 2011 (in Japanese).
  2. [2] Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, Japan, “Damage and response in the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster” (report Nos. 1-49) (in Japanese), [accessed May 2012]
  3. [3] Y. Ohnishi and Y. Kuwata, “A Study on Emergency Water Delivery in Wide-area Earthquake Disaster -A case study of the Great East Japan Earthquake,” J. of Japan Society of Civil Engineers, Ser. A1, Vol.68, No.4, 2012 (in Japanese).
  4. [4] Miyagi Prefecture Business Administration, “Outline of Sennan Area” (in Japanese), [accessed May 2011]
  5. [5] Ibaraki Prefecture Business Administration, “On Damage and Restoration of Regional Water-supply System” (in Japanese), [accessed May 2011]
  6. [6] Japan Water Works Association, “Statistics of Water Works,” Tokyo, 2007 (in Japanese).
  7. [7] S. Takada, E. Harayama, and T. Imanishi, “Time and space Analysis of Restoration Process for Damaged Water and Gas Supply Systems during the Hyogo-ken Nanbu Earthquake,” Research Report on RCUSS, Kobe University, Vol.7, pp. 213-235, 2003 (in Japanese).
  8. [8] Kobe City Water Bureau, “Record of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Water-Supply Restoration,” 1996 (in Japanese).
  9. [9] K.Wakamatsu, “Maps for Historic Liquefaction Sites in Japan 745-2008,” University of Tokyo Press, 2011 (in Japanese).
  10. [10] Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, Japan, “Reconniance Report on Water Supply Facilities during the Niigata Chuetsu earthquake,” pp. 5-24, 2005 (in Japanese).
  11. [11] Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, Japan, “Reconniance Report on Water Supply Facilities during the Noto earthquake,” 2007 (in Japanese).
  12. [12] K. Konagai, I. Suetomi, S. Sawada, A. Onoue, H. Toyota, Y. Kuwata, S. Takada, K. Tamura, H. Iwata, T. Hashimoto, and H. Iemura, “Important features of the damage caused by the July 16th 2007 off-Chuetsu earthquake,” Japan Society of Civil Engineers, Committee of Earthquake Engineering, Damage reports of the domestic and international earthquakes occurring 2006 to 2010, 2010 (in Japanese).

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Jul. 12, 2024