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Japan to develop Tsunami-proof lifeboat

OSAKA - Local authorities in western Japan will start a new project to develop a lifeboat which is able to float on rising "tsunami" waves as one of the evacuation measures, local press reported.

 

The project is initiated by Shikoku Region Transport Bureau, the regional subordinate organization of Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The south coast line Shikoku Island is directly facing the Pacific Ocean.

 

The planned lifeboat will be about 5 meters long and would be made of glass-fiber reinforced plastic. It will be set at public buildings in the coastal areas, such as schools, hospitals or local community houses and accommodate 20 to 50 people in case of tsunami, the report said.

 

The bureau released details of the project on Wednesday, saying the lifeboat would be developed based on the type of life boat currently carried on large passenger ships, and the construction would be collaborated with shipbuilders in western Japan.

 

"We like to make such a boat that evacuees are able stay on board at least for a couple of days with essentials such as foods or blankets, and a toilet to survive in the event of disaster," an official of the bureau said.

 

"The prototype of the boat will be on display by the end of this year," he added.

 

A great earthquake hit east Japan and triggered a powerful tsunami last March, leaving more than 15,000 people dead and thousands more injured or missing.

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