Unique proposal for reconstruction of Ofunato

By Kikki - Last updated: 木曜日, 6月 9, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

[From Ofunato city-my stricken home town]

-Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster-

Professor Horiike and his graduate students from Kumamoto University

Mr. Hidito Horiike, an architect and professor from the graduate school of Kumamoto University, and graduate students have produced a scale model of Ofunato bay based on their scheme of city planning for reconstruction. They threw it to the public at the Ofunato city hall on June 7.

A croton in Ofunato city is piled up on the level of 20 meters above the sea and may be useful for building earthquake-resistant town. They also proposed how to reconstruct facility of the port to minimize damages on fishing boats at the tsunami.

A craton is an old and stable part of the continental lithosphere. Having often survived cycles of merging and rifting of continents, cratons are generally found in the interiors of tectonic plates. They are characteristically composed of ancient crystalline basement rock, which may be covered by younger sedimentary rock. They have a thick crust and deep lithospheric roots that extend as much as a few hundred kilometers into the Earth’s mantle. The term craton is used to distinguish the stable portion of the continental crust from regions that are more geologically active and unstable. Cratons can be described as shields, in which the basement rock crops out at the surface, and platforms, in which the basement is overlain by sediments and sedimentary rock. The word craton was first proposed by the German geologist L. Kober in 1921 as “Kratogen”, referring to stable continental platforms, and “orogen” as a term for mountain or orogenic belts. Later authors shortened the former term to kraton and then to craton. Examples of cratons are the Slave craton in Canada, the Wyoming craton in the United States, the Amazonia craton in South America, and the Kaapvaal craton in South Africa.

Professor and his graduate students have started feasibility study for reconstruction from the disaster on the middle of March. Among many schemes for applying a practical use on land, they just set to work on producing a scale model of Ofunato bay. The scale model of Ofunato bay is reduced to 1/5000 in the rectangular size of 3 m×1.8 m. The land level is represented with layers of thick cardboard. A piece of cardboard represents 10m in actual level.

‘Ofunato bay is typical V-shape topography often seen in rias or sawtooth coastline.’ Although, mountains were eroded in the ice age and became steep, the croton in Ofunato city is piled up on the level of 20 meters above the sea. If the reconstruction of towns is carried on this croton, the city can save cost.’ The expert in the city planning proposed his idea.

Above the National Highway 45, excluding some areas is said to be a standard of 20 meters level above the sea. One bridge in the same level is proposed to build at around the existing ‘Kawaguchi-bashi’ bridge to connect between Ofunato and Akasaki towns. A beltway connects from the bridge to stricken seaside area. An apartment house combined with the bridge can be provided because room lights from windows give fishermen on boats feel relieved at night. Of course, most existing facilities left in the stricken area must proceed for redevelopment, but some stricken areas shall be left untouched and preserved as the monument of the tsunami. Most facilities for the marine products industry in the stricken area shall be reconstructed under temporarily work against another attacks in future. Renewal of facility is always required in the industry, so these facilities are not necessary in durable for 50 or 100 years. A huge pontoon in the shape of semicircular dome is also proposed in the port. Moored fishing boats in the pontoon are expected being kept from the attack of tsunami.

Professor and his students will continue their study on reconstruction of the stricken city. The scale model of Ofunato bay will change accordingly.




View Ofunato City in a larger map

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