Deploying the improved infrastructure that will hopefully help prevent future tsunamis from devastating Japan is an expensive endeavour. So researchers are developing new and cheaper ways to protect the country, like this innovative floodgate that deploys automatically when waters come rushing in — no power or human operators required.
And instead of using water-powered turbines or other complicated mechanisms that require constant maintenance, the floodgate simply uses a reservoir underneath and a highly buoyant material. As the flood waters rise, the reservoir fills, and the gate floats upwards, sealing off an area up to 10m across and as high as 5m. So while a tsunami can still rush inland, buildings and other structures can be protected even when electricity's been knocked out.