Kobe City Construction Bureau, Drainage & Rivers Department uses Axis network cameras to support citizen safety

Disaster prevention and damage reduction using a surveillance system to improve citizen awareness

"Since the earthquake we’ve launched the “Disaster Prevention Community” who has worked to raise disaster prevention awareness among citizens. The system, which allows us to confirm the condition of rivers on the Internet, has been useful in raising disaster prevention awareness."Mr. Nakamura, Assistant Manager, Kobe City Construction Bureau Drainage and Rivers Department, Rivers Section.


Kobe City is nestled in the Rokko Mountains, and while the city is blessed with an abundance of water, the Rokko Mountains are close to the ocean. This makes for swift currents and rapidly rising water when there are torrential rains, making it a geographical area troubled with flooding damage. River improvements are being made in Kobe City and the issue of disaster prevention is being addressed. In addition, damage reduction —keeping damage to a minimum—is a challenge also being addressed. When rivers swell, a call for evacuation is not enough and as a result, much damage can be done. In an effort to decrease the damage even a little bit, raising citizen awareness of damage prevention has become an ongoing issue.


At the Kobe City Policy Research Council, a plan was put forth and discussed to install cameras in addition to the existing water level observation systems, to monitor the rivers. However, the state-installed system was extremely expensive and installing the same equipment was problematic in terms of budget. While gathering information, an article about the “NetEye” camera service provided by ArkSystem, an Axis partner, attracted attention. The possibility of installing a network camera system was reviewed. In 2006, 4 Axis network cameras were evaluated and the results were as follows: Image quality was good (both day and night) and the cameras gave good value for the price. The next year 16 additional cameras were installed for a current total of 20 AXIS 221 Network Cameras operating in 20 locations. The monitoring screen displays not only images of the river, but the water level indicator as well. Monitoring can be done via the Internet at the Rivers Section or the Fire Department. In addition, monitoring footage is publicly available on a website so citizens can confirm the current situation using the image information and raise damage prevention awareness.


The threat of river disaster is difficult to convey through words and text. Now, realization that there is threat of river disaster occurs due to public footage showing rising waters or the river’s condition. In particular, everyone can watch the “Local disaster leader” elected by the local disaster community unit and develop an understanding of the state of local rivers.

Related links

AXIS 221 Network Camera