Special Issue on Comprehensive Disaster Prevention Measures for Underground Spaces (Underground Malls, etc.)
Deputy Director, Research Institute Mitigation and Environmental Studies, NPO CeMI (Crisis and Environment Management Policy Institute)
Royal Wakaba 505, 1-22 Wakaba, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0011, Japan
Underground spaces have been variously used. Excluding underground floors of individual buildings, underground space in Japan is mainly used for streets, railways, and parking. Stores are often grouped along underground passages to underground railways and parking near main urban terminals. An accidental underground gas explosion at Shizuoka Station in 1980 led to disaster prevention measures in such spaces, forcing stricter safety standards. Following this was the 1999 Hakata underground mall inundation by the Mikawa River, which has further broadened the attention to the underground space and its inundation risk. Inundation damages in underground malls and spaces had occurred repeatedly since then, however, we believe that the 2012 inundation damage to underground spaces in New York city caused by Hurricane Sandy triggered further reviews of disaster prevention measures against underground spaces in Japan. Recently, small inundation damages often occurred in underground malls in Japan. With our praying these would not be prior events for possible large disasters, we publish this special issue considering that publishing disaster prevention measures and researches for underground spaces is increasingly important worldwide. This special issue features inundation damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, Japan’s law systems on antiflood measures in underground spaces, antiflood measures of the subway in Tokyo Metropolitan Area, current situations of antiflood measures in underground spaces. We would like to express our sincere thanks to those who contributed reports and research papers to this issue.