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Japanese landslide assessments rise in wake of Hiroshima sediment failure

Japanese local authorities have commissioned a record number of landslide assessments this year in a bid to respond to changes in legislation following a fatal sediment flow in 2014.

Today marks the first anniversary of the landslide in Hiroshima that claimed the lives of 75 people and led to stricter legal requirement to designate landslide caution zones under the Sediment Disaster Prevention Law.

Under the revised legislation, local authorities face penalties from the land, infrastructure, transport and tourism ministry if they lag behind targets to carry out assessments.

National newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun has reported that 42,000 locations have been checked so far this year compared to 29,000 last year. Figures gathered by the newspaper suggest that while the number of investigations has increased there are still a number of authorities who have not completed basic investigations at all vulnerable sites.

Data has also shown that Hiroshima is the most at risk region in Japan with 166 landslide incidents where 126 occurred at locations that were not within designated landslide caution zones.

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