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Higashimatsushima Coastal Tsunami Monitoring System

Challenges in Tohoku Reconstruction

A disaster-resistant monitoring system is 
vital for reducing tsunami damage

The City of Higashimatsushima in Miyagi Prefecture was heavily damaged by the tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, with approximately 65 percent of the city's central area inundated with water. The city's reconstruction plan stipulates "building a disaster-resistant community through damage prevention and reduction" as one of its basic policies, with initiatives now underway to create a city with self-sufficient disaster prevention measures. As part of this drive, a model project was launched for a tsunami monitoring system for Higashimatsushima City's coastal area. This system can operate a wireless network with a PV system and a storage battery system even in the event of a disaster, when commercial power and wired information networks are inaccessible. "Higashimatsushima was designated by the Japanese government as an environmentally conscious 'Future City,'" says Morio Furuyama, director of the Higashimatsushima City Revival Policy Department. "To realize this vision, we set up the Higashimatsushima Organization for Progress and Economy, Education, and Energy (HOPE). This organization consists of many member companies that provide useful recommendations. One of these was the coastal tsunami monitoring system."

Higashimatsushima City suffered devastating damage from the tsunami. One cause of the damage was said to be the failure of the city's community wireless system and warning system due to power outages. When a major tsunami warning is issued, it is impossible to send staff to the dangerous coastal area. That is why a disaster-resistant monitoring system that can remain functioning for three days even in the event of power outages was desperately needed.

Offshore image from a surveillance camera installed at Omagari CoastOffshore image from a surveillance camera installed at Omagari Coast
Coastal Tsunami Monitoring System ConfigurationCoastal Tsunami Monitoring System Configuration

Initiatives

Self-sustaining power supply system keeps 
the wireless monitoring system up and 
running even with power outages

With the model project for the Higashimatsushima coastal tsunami monitoring system, network cameras were installed at three places to monitor the coasts of Omagari, Hamaichi and Nobiru. The plan is to transmit realtime video data to the City Hall Disaster Prevention Headquarters via a wireless system, along with data from the wave height gauge set up at Hamaichi Coast. At the heart of this wireless system is a multi-service access concentrator capable of handling data transfer over three wireless networks—a 5G wireless link capable of transmitting videos, a 920MHz band specified low-power wireless system suitable for transmitting wave height data, and WiFi. The system is also powered by a self-sustaining power supply system consisting of PV panels and a lithium ion storage battery unit.

As well as its utility in the event of a disaster, the wireless monitoring system promises a wide range of potential applications for use in normal times. Applications being considered include monitoring dangerous behavior of swimmers or anglers, providing meteorological information via WiFi, and offering information to tourists, whose number is expected to increase in the future. Mr. Furuyama concludes by saying, "The disaster-resistant video monitoring system and network system, both operable for three days using the self-sustaining power supply, are truly dependable tools for us. Once tourists come back to our beach, this system will also contribute to Higashimatsushima City's industrial revitalization by providing tourist information via WiFi.

Omagari Coast's tsunami monitoring system installed at a height of 7 meters, higher than the recent tsunami Omagari Coast's tsunami monitoring system installed at a height of 7 meters, higher than the recent tsunami
Wireless LAN base stationWireless LAN base station
Antenna installed on the rooftop of City HallAntenna installed on the rooftop of City Hall
Disaster Prevention Section's PC monitor image Disaster Prevention Section's PC monitor image

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