The heavy rain that hit Western Japan in July 2018 triggered the worst rain-related disaster in the Heisei era, with the total of dead and missing persons exceeding 230, mainly in the Hiroshima and Okayama Prefectures. At several locations along Oda River (of the Takahashi river system) and its tributaries, dikes were breached due to large-scale flood, leaving 51 persons dead. This paper aims to shed light on the scale of inundation along Oda River and its tributaries and identify the characteristics of and critical factors for human damage. Field surveys were conducted to measure flood marks in flooded areas and river channels, and gauge the extent of damage to people and property. The surveys found that a large area was inundated on the north side of Oda River, with an inundation depth exceeding 5 m for 1 km in the south-north direction and 3.5 km in the east-west direction, which made vertical evacuation of residents difficult. The findings that about 80%of the dead were found on the first floor of their houses, with those who had lived in a one-story house and those who had lived in a two-story house accounting for 50% each of the deceased, indicate how difficult even vertical evacuation was. The findings appear to be related to the considerable inundation depth and high rate of water level increase, along with the fact that the majority of the deceased were elderly people.
- Oda river
- Western Japan heavy rain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Engineering (miscellaneous)