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Christoffer Rudquist captures the epic inner workings of Tokyo’s drains for Avaunt

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Avaunt / Christoffer Rudquist: Tokyo Flooding – The Defences Protecting the City

Avaunt has launched its fifth issue including a photoessay by Christoffer Rudquist documenting Tokyo’s flood draining system, the largest in the world.

As a publication Avaunt describes itself as “dedicated to documenting and celebrating the pioneers chipping away at the unknown, adding to our knowledge of ourselves and the universe we inhabit”. Christoffer’s photographic feature encapsulates this ethos, showcasing an underground system rarely seen.

Flooding has consistently been an issue in Tokyo, “but with the region’s rapid urbanisation since the middle of the 20th century, the threat of catastrophic flooding has grown ever more severe,” says the magazine. “A typhoon in 1991, for example, flooded 100 square kilometres, over 30,000 homes and caused the deaths of 52 people.”

The Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel was built between 1993 – 2006 and contains five drainers, “stretching from the Oootoshifurutone in Saitama prefecture, north of Tokyo, to the drain pump station at the Edo River in the city itself”. Each silo is about 70 metres tall by 30 metres wide, “large enough to fit the Statue of Liberty of a space shuttle inside”. Christoffer’s photographs show the vastness of the silos and its detailed inner workings.

Although the drainage system cost three billion dollars, its subsection chief Takayuki Yabe explains, “If it was not build, there would have already been cases in which flooding damage was enormous.”

The full excerpt is available here.

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Avaunt Issue 5

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Avaunt / Christoffer Rudquist: Tokyo Flooding – The Defences Protecting the City

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Avaunt / Christoffer Rudquist: Tokyo Flooding – The Defences Protecting the City

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Avaunt / Christoffer Rudquist: Tokyo Flooding – The Defences Protecting the City