By Elleda Wilson
Posted: August 26, 2011
The TSUNAMI SURVIVAL CAPSULE, pictured top, a 7-foot sphere capable of holding six to eight people, designed by Mukilteo, Wash., engineering firm IDEA Inc., made quite a splash (couldn’t resist that one) in the news a few months ago. But the prototype won’t even be built for another 18 months to two years.
However, in May, there was an article in The Wall Street Journal about the steel ISE ARK, pictured bottom, a survival pod designed shortly after the March 11 tsunami and slated to go on the market in June (tinyurl.com/wsj-ark). Made by construction company ISE INDUSTRY in Japan, the ark comes in several sizes, and is able to hold from four to 25 people. Some samples are pictured above.
The ark was built essentially out of frustration, since the evacuation centers proved useless in the March tsunami – the wall of water was much higher, and rushed further inland, than expected – and designed mainly for those who are unable to run to higher ground. Once inside, passengers put on two seatbelts and a helmet. There’s enough air for about two hours, but the ark is desined to pop to the surface within 20 seconds, and can float even when badly overloaded.
The Journal says the sale price ranges from 380,000 to 2,400,000 yen. Want to buy one? You’ll need a translator, as the site, tinyurl.com/ise-ark, is in Japanese, and Mr. Google’s translations are bizarre, at best.
Explaining the name of the pod, the Journal article quotes Norio Yamamoto, a company spokesman, as saying, “There’s currently nothing that absolutely guarantees one’s safety during a tsunami. God instructed Noah how to construct the ark to survive the Great Flood because God was the only one who knew what it would take. Our thinking is that perhaps there is only God’s way left.”
Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.