Tokyo 2020 confident in evacuation plan

Published on April 25th, 2019

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers insist procedures would be in place to ensure the safety of spectators after a professor at Aichi Prefectural University raised concerns over a possible evacuation at the Olympic Games sailing venue.

Nobuaki Shimizu told the Japanese media that simulations had shown evacuation plans would be inadequate at Shonan Port. The plans would reportedly be used in the event an offshore earthquake triggered a tsunami near the venue. Shimizu claimed it would take nearly an hour for spectators, athletes and officials to evacuate.

But Tokyo 2020 offered reassurance over its plans, stating it had changed the maximum spectator capacity following the simulation.

“Tokyo 2020 acknowledges the tsunami impact simulation exercise that was carried out by the Kanagawa Prefectural authorities and has formulated an evacuation plan to address the scenarios they simulated,” a Tokyo 2020 spokesperson told the South China Morning Post.

“Taking into account the level of assumed damage caused by any such tsunami, we have estimated the number of people that could safely be evacuated and have accordingly reduced the maximum capacity of the venue from the 7,000-plus people included in our original bid to 5,700.

“Excluding athletes, staff and media representatives, the spectator capacity has been reduced to 3,300 people.

“As a result of this verification exercise, we have established that all 5,700 people would be able to evacuate to six designated facilities in the vicinity of the venue itself and in surrounding hilly areas.

“We are working on formulating safety procedures through the training and education of staff in the safe evacuation of those affected in any such occurrence, and by establishing evacuation procedures in cooperation with local authorities and other related parties.

“Based on the above, we will continue to share all relevant event information and any necessary alerts and updates with spectators during the Games.”

The Tokyo 2020 sailing competition will take place from July 27 and August 6 at Enoshima Yacht Harbour. A total of 10 events will be held and a test event will take place in 2019 from August 15 to 22.


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