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Japan to apply timelines to evacuation plans

The Japanese government will draw up action plans with detailed timelines for the evacuation of residents in the event of a flood.

In the United States and other countries, timelines have been applied to evacuation planning. The manuals will help government or municipal officials decide what actions to take according to how the disaster progresses. They will also help them evacuate people smoothly and quickly.

Japan's land ministry decided on Thursday to introduce the plans for 109 river basins across the country.

The ministry's departments and municipalities will draw up the new procedures by July. They will deal with possible typhoons and subsequent floods.

In the past organizations have had their own instructions, but these were not standardized with timelines.

The new manuals include timings for creating a task force, announcing evacuation orders and other necessary steps. The authorities will verify their effectiveness in summer when a typhoon could actually hit.

For the Tokyo and Nagoya metropolitan areas officials are set to draw up plans that cover multiple cities and towns.

Some municipalities have already adopted the procedures. One is Oshima Town near Tokyo, which was hit by large landslides last year.

Apr. 25, 2014 - Updated 00:06 UTC