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Mobile phones, social media to be utilized in Nankai Trough quake


The land ministry is considering utilizing information collected through mobile phones and social media to keep track of disaster information in the event of a major earthquake occurring in the Nankai Trough off central and western Japan, a draft interim report showed Sunday.

Under the disaster prevention plan, the ministry aims to use car and mobile phone global positioning systems as well as information posted on social media to get a picture of the movements of evacuees and traffic.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry also plans to gather information on flooding and landslides using helicopters and satellites to ensure the safety of people and traffic, according to the draft.

Enhancement of the quake resistance of roads, airports and railway stations will be also included in the measures.

The ministry will compile a final plan by the end of this year and allocate necessary costs in its budgetary request for the next fiscal year from April.

The Cabinet Office estimates that a Nankai Trough quake would kill up to 323,000 people and cause 220 trillion yen of losses.

The interim emergency plan says the government will put priority on protecting people's lives during the initial three hours of the quake's occurrence, while focusing on rescuing missing persons and securing transportation routes during the first 72 hours.

In the next step, it will establish transportation systems for relief supplies and support disaster-affected people over a seven to 10-day period.

Over a one-month period, the government will seek to reconstruct important facilities, according to the plan.