Fences covered with driftwood, beets and muddy water and foundations lifted up

As for the fences along the outer circumference of the site, the fences hit by floodwater had collapsed and were covered with mud, fallen trees, beets and potatoes when pictures of the site were taken in early September 2016, immediately after the disaster. Some of the foundations of the fences had been pulled out (Fig. 7).

Fig. 7: Driftwood and beats are seen here and there. Pictures taken on September 6 after the disaster. (source: Nikkei BP)

The floodwater that was not blocked by the fences reached the internal area of the mega solar site. Many of the fallen trees that flowed into the site looked 10m or more in length.

Solar power plants in Hokkaido incorporate higher installation levels and stronger mounting systems, compared with plants in other regions, so that the equipment can withstand the accumulation of snow. However, the mounting systems were covered with fallen trees, weeds, beets and potatoes above the height of a human.

In the area between the southern side and the southwestern side, which seems to have been subjected to the fastest and strongest water flow, some of the mounting systems near the solar panels were bent, and the entire array (unit of solar panels installed on a mounting system) was damaged in some cases, indicating the strength of the floodwater.