Last month, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Fukushima triggered a destructive landslide at the legendary Ebisu circuit. Some of the facility’s tracks were badly damaged, and several buildings destroyed.
The track has since put out a statement noting that “the scale of damage is larger than expected,” so despite some of Ebisu’s nine courses (made up of seven tracks and two skid pans) escaping unscathed, organisers have been forced to close the whole site.
Ebisu was already financially reeling before the quake, with Covid-19 prompting the cancellation of many events. Amidst this, the circuit says it is “difficult for us to make a full recovery on our own,” and is now appealing for donations. As well as restoring the damaged parts, the money will be put towards shoring the place up for future seismic activity.
The region is no stranger to this. According to Japan’s meteorological agency, last month’s incident was an aftershock of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and Tsunami, which left thousands dead and many more homeless. The more recent quake caused at least one fatality and injured nearly 200.
Damage across the region was modest for the most part, but there’s plenty to do at Ebisu. Large parts of the tarmac at Drift Land, where the landslide started, are badly broken up. From here, a large amount of earth and debris slid down the bank, over the Nishi (west) course and to the corner of the Kuru Kuru Land skid pan, burying several buildings en-route.
Here’s hoping it won’t be too long before Ebisu is back up and running.