Threat of typhoons, earthquakes reality for Olympic planning

John Coates, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics leaves from the venue of the IOC and Tokyo 2020 j

John Coates, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics leaves from the venue of the IOC and Tokyo 2020 j

John Coates, left, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and Tokyo Olympic organizing committee Pres

John Coates, left, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and Tokyo Olympic organizing committee Pres

John Coates, left, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and Tokyo Olympic organizing committee Pres

John Coates, left, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and Tokyo Olympic organizing committee Pres

TOKYO (AP) — An IOC inspector working on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics says a powerful typhoon and a deadly earthquake that hit Japan in the last 10 days have been a wake-up call for organizers.

The most powerful typhoon in 25 years left 11 dead in the Osaka area of western Japan when it struck Sept. 4. A few days later, a deadly earthquake hit the northern island of Hokkaido and killed about 40.

John Coates, an Australian who heads the inspection team, says what happened "has hit home to me."

Coates helped organize the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He says organizers there simulated disasters, but he adds "you don't have to dream anything up in this country, it's very sad to say."

He says disaster preparation "is being factored" into the planning.

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