Tokyo Olympics to Limit Crowd Size for Sailing Events Over Tsunami Fears

Earthquake safety data for some 2020 Olympic venues had been doctored last year.

tokyo olympics
Sailing and other events at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 could be at risk of tsunamis and earthquakes. (Estelle Ruiz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

The number of sailing fans at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be limited due to fears that too large of a crowd would make evacuation difficult in the event of a tsunami, organizers said Thursday.

The maximum crowd size for a venue on the Enoshima coast of Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, was initially listed as 5,000, CNN reported, but that number will be cut by over 30 percent to 3,300.

“The committee decided to cap the number of spectators to ensure that everyone can be safely evacuated to higher ground or hotels if a disaster strikes,” according to Japanese public broadcaster, NHK. “The total figure, including staff and media personnel, will be 5,700.”

Japan sits square on top of what is known as the Ring of Fire, a seismically active 25,000-mile arc formed by the boundary of the Pacific Plate as well as smaller ones such as the Philippine Sea, Cocos and Nazca Plates.

Exerts believe that the Tokyo area is due for a major earthquake sometime within the next 30 years, CNN reported.

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake triggered a landslide in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido last year, killing 20. And in 2011, more than 20,000 people died or went missing and hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed in the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan’s Fukushima prefecture.

Local government and Olympic officials have ordered new inspections into the venues to ensure they are up to code after concerns of the dangers posed by seismic activity to the 2020 Summer Games were heightened last year.
A leading Japanese hydraulics company had initially doctored earthquake safety data for buildings across the country, including some Olympic venues.

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