What’s the best way to make sure you don’t lose all of your data if your computer explodes? Back it up of course. What’s the best way to make sure your economy keeps running in the event of a massive earthquake? The Mail Online reports:

Concerned about the impact a crippling earthquake could have on Tokyo, the Japanese government has unveiled plans to develop an entire backup city in case.

Snappily called the IRTBBC – or Integrated Resort Tourism, Business and Backup City – the spare city will be built on a 1,236-acre site 300 miles west of the capital Tokyo.

It could be home to 50,000 residents and 200,000 workers and will also feature offices, resorts, casinos and parks – as well as essential government facilities in case of disaster.

Well  thank god for that, at least it will have a casino, I can’t let a natural disaster interrupt my hardcore gambling!

It does make you wonder, I think, if Tokyo would ever recover from a backup like this. I mean, is this new city going to be more appealing than returning to the existing one? Is it a very basic affair, with meagre accommodation, and hastily erected buildings?:

The potential site is on the site of Itami Airport – which is politically unpopular and has been superceded by other airports including Kansai and Kobe, according to wired.co.uk., and could also boast a 1,900ft-tall office tower.

My second thought is, who would qualify to live in the backup? Will it be a lottery? Or will it be selective, like when I pick the choicest files to move from my 1 terabyte drive, to my 500 gigabyte backup drive?

Tokyo has a population of 13,185,502 (source:Wikipedia), and this new city a mere 250,000 vacancies. But let us add a little efficacy to this calculation, and control for fatalities in an earthquake. In all of the 17 major earthquakes recorded from 684  – 2011 (Wikipedia) – not factoring in earthquakes with fatalities below 500- the total loss of life is 361,266. This gives us a mean average of 21,251 lives lost in a major earthquake, leaving the projected population alive in Tokyo at around 13,164,251. So 1.9% of the total population would be whisked away to The Backup.

Whilst ideas like IRTBBC, at face value, seem very noble; they are also very revealing. The important question here is, who would be in the 1.9% of the population lucky enough to get to live, work, and gamble in the Backup, and how would they be selected?

I bet there are some people camped outside of Wall street, and St Pauls Cathedral right now that would be able to project a good guess.

Ken Eakins

About the Author

Ken Eakins is a filmmaker and weird stuff enthusiast from the South of England.

View Articles