Armenia has Borrowed Japanese Rich Experience in the Fight Against Landslides


The territory of the Republic of Armenia is characterized by strong developed landslide streamlines. Among existing 2 thousand landslide prone zones in Armenia, today, about a dozen is considered to be the most dangerous. Most of the landslide sites are located in the areas bordering the settlements, mountainous areas of medium height, river basins, the plateau, etc.. The landslide hazard also threatens the highways, pastures and cultivated land, cultural and historical complexes. Landslides are destructive and often take away many lives.

Since February 2014, the Ministry of TAES in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is implementing a three-year project on “Landslide Disaster Management in the RA”, in the frames of which, it is envisaged to perform the monitoring of dangerous landslide sites, the databases updates, studies and preparation of hazard zonation maps. For the landslides struggle efficiency improvement, an interagency group has been established by the TAES Minister A. Yeritsyan’s order, including experts from different concerned agencies. In the first phase of the program, 2 landslides zones were chosen from the most dangerous 11 landslide ones. They were the landslides existing in communities Getahovit and Arap, where a landslide pilot program was being carried out. It was also envisaged to provide technical support.

According to the Head of Natural Disasters Department of MTAES RS, r/s Colonel Artur Muradyan, geological studies had already been conducted in those communities, based on which, deep and surface sensors were installed in the landslide zones.

-Due to those sensors, it is possible to record the movement of the landslide body, both in horizontal and vertical direction. Periodically the data is received from the sensors, which in future will be automated and will soon be received in the regional department and Crisis Management National Center,- noted A. Muradyan.

The program also provides the conducting of horizontal drilling, which will contribute to move out the ground waters and will allow certain limitations. At the current stage, a group of Armenian experts, together with Japanese experts, have explore the contemporary methods and rich experience of Japanese anti-landslide activities, the correct organization of land and drainage works, calculation mechanisms of the slopes stabilization, etc.

Japanese Fumio Nakamura believes, that Armenia may achieve a great success in the fight against landslides. According to him, the basic and primary task of Armenia should be the development of mechanisms and technologies of combating, and the popularization of the problem which will much more help Armenia.

- Japan has established traditions in landslides management. Since ancient times, 300-400 years ago, people were trying to fight against them, but effective measures have only been developed in the last 60 years.

According to the Japanese expert, the landslide- prone areas were monitored firstly, then investigated and analyzed, afterwards the design works were performed. When the direction of the landslide is clear enough, the anti- landslide measures were carried out - the construction of dams, removal of soil, strengthening the reinforcement, etc.

-Within 50 years, the number of landslides in Japan were reduced from 1000 to about 100. This rich experience we want to share with our Armenian colleagues, - noted F. Nakamura.

Having worked in TAES Ministry for two months, the Japanese experts managed to make friends with the staff, master the way of life and even get acquainted with Armenian dishes. Recently, he has prepared a pleasant surprise: the Ministry employees tasted Japanese sushi cooked together with F. Nakamura.

- The cooks are very skilled here. In all countries, sushi has a different taste, but I like sushi, prepared in Armenia, by the Armenian cooks. Though, my main mission is to assist Armenia in the fight against landslides, but at the cook’s request, I agreed to reveal the secrets of Japanese sushi, as a sign of Armenian-Japanese friendship,- joked F. Nakamura. I like all Armenian dishes, but most of all I prefer dolma, prepared of grape leaves.

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