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Japan endorses plan to prepare for catastrophic earthquake

March 31, 2015, 9:30 UTC+3 TOKYO

The program adopted by the cabinet is expected to reduce the number of possible casualties by half, cut the losses by 50%

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TOKYO, March 31. /TASS/. The Japanese government approved on Tuesday a program to prepare for a major earthquake that could hit the area of Tokyo in the next 30 years with a 70% probability and claim some 23,000 lives in the worst-case scenario.

The program adopted by the cabinet is expected to reduce the number of these possible casualties by half. Its implementation is also aimed at cutting the losses by 50%, including the number of ruined or burnt houses.

Experts believe that a 7.3 magnitude quake in the central part of the Japanese capital could destroy some 610,000 buildings.

The plan will focus on earthquake-resistant technologies and fire-safety measures. In particular, the share of earthquake-proof buildings is expected to reach some 95% by 2020. In 2008, this ratio was 79%

In March 2011, Japan was hit by the strongest earthquake over the past centuries, which occurred near the northeastern coast of the country’s largest and most populous island of Honshu.

The tsunami triggered by the quake left more than 18,000 people dead or missing. A gigantic wave hit the nuclear power plant Fukushima-1 that resulted in the most devastating nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl nuclear power plant catastrophe in 1986.

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