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World Cup chiefs make back-up plans in case of Japan natural disaster

Extensive contingency plans have been drawn up for the 2019 World Cup as Japan reels from the recent spate of natural disasters that could also strike during the tournament.

Earlier this month the nation endured its strongest typhoon for 25 years that caused tidal surges and flooding in the west of the country, killing at least 11 people and leaving scores injured.

“It’s a real hot topic for us right now. Teams will be arriving next year at a time when in this year Japan has experienced a pretty significant typhoon and earthquake,” head of Rugby World Cup Alan Gilpin said.

“We are planning right through from what happens if a team hotel or training venue is lost to what happens if one or more match venues are lost. We are working through all these scenarios.

“It’s a complex piece and something we would do for every tournament, but this one has a heightened sense of realism to it. We have to take it seriously.

“But there’s also a heightened sense of comfort that Japan deals with these issues all the time. It’s not as though we’re dealing with a one-off here. As they very calmly tell us, they have 480 earthquakes a year.

“Their venues and hotels are built to withstand incredible adverse conditions. What you tend to see in Japan is generally it’s older buildings and structures that are affected when they have either earthquakes or typhoons.”


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