Based on the lessons from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has launched “Special Project for Reducing Vulnerability for Urban Mega Earthquake Disasters (2012–2016)” with the aim of reducing the damages caused by the urban earthquake disasters such as the projected earthquake that directly hits Tokyo area and the Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai Earthquakes as much as possible. This project is divided into the following three subprojects: namely, 1) “Research and Study on Evaluation of Risk and Hazard of Earthquake that Directly Hits Tokyo Area” represented by Professor Naoshi Hirata, Earthquake Research Institute, the University of Tokyo; 2) “Research and Study on Maintenance and Recovery of Functionality in Urban Infrastructures” represented by Professor Masayoshi Nakashima, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University; and 3) “Research and Study on Measures to Improve Urban Resilience to Earthquake Disaster” represented by Dr. Haruo Hayashi, President of the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience. This special issue focuses on the findings of the subproject 3). The subproject 3) aims to develop the information communication system for supporting efficient management of emergency responses and restoration efforts and promotion of the capabilities for solution of the problems in terms of disaster, i.e. disaster management literacy, to contribute to high resilience to disaster in our society.
After the 2011 East Japan Earthquake, the Japanese Cabinet Office has promoted local governments and communities to develop a “Community Disaster Management Plan.” Local governments started to hold workshops to develop the said plan for residents in local communities. However, only a few residents (i.e., those who are interested in disaster prevention) participate in these workshops; thus, most residents do not have opportunities to survey disaster prevention. Considering this issue, we decided to develop a supporting application for individual disaster management plans by analyzing hazard risks and land features. In this research, we focused on evacuation planning for residents. Furthermore, we developed it as web-based application as any resident connected to the internet may be struggling with their evacuation. In our proposed application, users have to take seven steps: (1) learn features of tsunami attack and countermeasures during a tsunami disaster, (2) set start point for evacuation, (3) set first and second goal for evacuation based on lessons learned from the “Miracle of Kamaishi,” (4) search the shortest evacuation route from start point through the first goal to the second goal, (5) review change of elevation on the evacuation route, (6) review hazard risks and land feature on the evacuation route and to reroute if necessary, and (7) download their settled evacuation route to their own devices as a GPX file. After developing a prototype of the application, we published it as a web service. While the publishing was in process, we gathered logs on how users took actions based on our proposed application. Approximately 10 days after publishing the prototype, we analyzed the path of users’ action flow, and we detected issues that need to be resolved to improve esidents’ disaster management capacity during tsunami disasters. Generally, our application helped prepared users for tsunami disaster prevention.
This study reviews the current situation and problems in disaster management education in schools in Japan, proposes systematic programs for elementary and junior high school students, and the proposed programs are verified and evaluated in different schools. The programs aim to educate the students of the correct knowledge on various natural disasters and enhance their capacities to forecast and avoid the risks on their own initiatives.
The programs have an advantage that it can be implemented by teachers who can practice disaster management education in the ordinary learning process for elementary and junior high school students in schools; disaster management specialists are not needed for its implementation.
Prior to the development of the programs, an awareness survey was conducted to both elementary and junior high school students and teachers regarding their level of “consciousness of the crisis of school safety caused by natural disasters, among others.” The results of the survey revealed that “the disaster management education based on earthquake disaster is effective for students and teachers as a starting point of the learning, since they have already experienced an earthquake and a disaster drill targeting earthquake in their lives.” Thus, the proposed education programs have been designed that earthquake and other natural hazards disaster management education are practiced not separately but jointly to foster children’s “zest for life” at a time of natural disasters. The proposed two programs correspond to earthquake and tornado, and each program consists of three parts. The teaching materials, such as the proposed guidance and worksheet, have been prepared using editable files to allow teachers to edit the content by themselves.
A survey method based on the ADDIE process of instructional design is adopted. In the ADDIE process, effectiveness of the proposed education programs is measured through the students’ self-assessment on the extent to which the programs’ learning objectives have been attained. Consequently, the proposed programs are evaluated by measuring the degree of attainment several times: before, during, and after the implementations. As a result of the evaluation, the earthquake and tornado disaster management education programs proved to be highly effective for education. Findings also proved that the knowledge acquired and capabilities improved through the proposed programs can be maintained by repeating the practice of the programs.
In carrying out this study, cooperation with disaster prevention organizations and educational institutions was indispensable. To further realize such cooperation, this study proposes that the specific educational institutions, Prefectural Board of Education, Municipal Board of Education, and model schools that are willing to implement the programs must cooperate with one another.
In this project, a “Disaster Management Literacy Hub” (DMLH) has been developed for collecting, creating, and transmitting various disaster management content over the Internet. The first screen of the DMLH lists disaster management content on tiles to allow users easily find relevant disaster management content using a keyword retrieval function. A user who registers an account can post disaster management content, create a first screen that is customized using the “favorite function,” and compile different disaster management content using the “binder function.” In addition to the “relay (hub) function” for disaster management content, a “creation function” was also implemented, such as the “message function” for posting short messages of approximately 200 letters and an image, and the “quiz creation function” for measuring the effects of disaster management literacy.
In the course of modifying the prototype Disaster Management Literacy Hub, the system was evaluated by university student users in July 2016, approximately one year after the fully-fledged operation came into effect in August 2015. The results yielded the following findings: 1) the DMLH is meaningful because by using specific keywords, users retrieved items that had been difficult to find by means of general Internet search sites; 2) statistically significant improvement was shown for 15 disaster management literacy items in the evaluation; the DMLH leads to a proposal to create effective disaster management literacy improvement because students recognized three disaster management literacy categories: cases of disasters and disaster management, responses of familiar agents such as themselves and people to one, and responses of agents in the environment, including local communities and governments.
It is difficult to effectively respond to a disaster simply by introducing a disaster information system. Because free-style information is dominant in disaster responses, a certain level of communication quality should be ensured to effectively utilize such information. This study focuses on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to effectively handle a disaster information system, and attempts to establish the SOP with an emphasis on communication rules for free-style information.
The SOP for a disaster information system was established through workshops with officers of disaster responses in the field of Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture, and evaluated the effectiveness of a command post exercise. Results suggested the effective use of free-style information as well as formed information.
In this paper, we analyze incident response management work using free-formed information that is important for incident response communication. We develop a standard operating procedure for the work and study a support method based on a language processing technology to prevent missing or overlapping necessary tasks and optimize management of progress and integration management of related tasks. A prototype system was developed and evaluated in a workshop held by a local government, or in an exercise. As a result, it is confirmed that the use of language processing technology can make incident response management work efficient.
The authors assessed the tsunami damage to a girder-type road bridge, focusing on a washed-away deck that failed during the 2011 Tohoku Pacific earthquake tsunami. The inundation depth, ratio of inundation depth to girder elevation, and flow velocity were used as the three indices of the tsunami wave load acting on a road bridge deck. A gently shaped tsunami waveform was selected at a wave-front with a water surface level increase rate of less than 2.0 m/min. The damage ratio was computed for the above three indices, as defined by the number of washed-away bridges divided by the total number of bridges exposed to the tsunami. Based on statistical analysis for the damage ratio data, damage functions using the three indices were proposed. In addition, the spatial distribution of physical wash-away damage to road bridges by the anticipated Nankai Trough earthquake tsunami was shown by applying the derived damage functions.
This study intends to report the results of COCOA during the disaster drill in Ishinomaki City. On Sunday, 15 November 2015, a rainy day, the verification was conducted at the Comprehensive Disaster Drill in Ishinomaki City using an information sharing system on shelter, called COCOA, with the aim of supporting information sharing between headquarters and each shelter for disaster control and effective shelter management. COCOA is an information sharing system on shelter developed by Numada’s university office. This disaster drill confirmed that shelters can be effectively managed with respect to any change in circumstances over a given period of time; for example, the number of evacuees at each shelter can be grasped in real time, and those who need care can be identified easily by effectively preparing a list of evacuees.
The exposure of the area and population as well as energy-related base facilities to the shaking intensity predicted for the anticipated megathrust earthquakes along the Nankai Trough subduction zones is evaluated. First, area and population exposure is evaluated considering six cases of shaking intensity distribution calculated using strong motion prediction methods and an attenuation formula. Next, the exposure of energy-related base facilities is evaluated for power generation plants, oil refineries, and LNG terminals in terms of their capacities for power generation, oil refining, and storage, respectively. Exposed capacities can be evaluated approximately for arbitrary levels of shaking intensity, providing fundamental information on the potential reduction of energy supply capabilities in an earthquake disaster.
Immediately following an earthquake or other disaster, the crisis management personnel of the national or local government must determine the location of the disaster and its status and quickly carry out response actions such as rescue or fire-fighting operations. However, the congestion of communication lines and shortage of disaster response personnel make it impossible to collate the damage information in the initial response mobilization period immediately following an earthquake, making it difficult to make proper decisions. To assist the decision-making immediately following an earthquake, we developed a Wide-area Earthquake Damage Estimation System, which estimates the earthquake damage based on information from the Meteorological Agency and other agencies and shares the results via email and WebGIS (Web-based Geographic Information System) portal functions. In this paper, we introduce this system and discuss the results of the trial operation.
In exploring the relationship between ground-level road damage ratios and tsunami inundation depths following the 2011 Pacific Coast Tohoku earthquake in Japan, we focused on road damage components, excluding elevated roads, bridges, and tunnels. The damage ratio is defined as the number of damage incidents per kilometer. We used the damage dataset compiled by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. We propose four fragility function zones for ground-level roads based on differences in topographical features. We studied these zones based on numerical simulation results of tsunami propagation.
The main purpose of this paper is to explore the vulnerability of disaster victims from the perspective of immobility, in contrast to the conventional perspective of mobility. What causes immobility in Japan? And how have immobile people been treated? In this article, I will attempt to answer these questions using some concrete examples. Immobile people have been recognized as “people requiring assistance during a disaster” (PRADD). This term helps us understand immobility in Japan. The Sanjou flood (2004) prompted the formulation of the “Guidelines for Evacuation Support of People Requiring Assistance during a Disaster.” The national government has encouraged local governments and residents to be prepared for a disaster using the guidelines. Nevertheless, preparations for disasters have not progressed very well. It was in this context that the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) occurred.
During the GEJE, immobility raised the risk of death for PRADD due to the tsunami. After the tsunami, there were also PRADD who could not evacuate to shelters because they were anxious about how life would be there. Now many victims live in temporary housing. There will be people who cannot move to temporary housing in the future. It is likely that they will be mainly PRADD. These cases make it clear that immobility causes vulnerability to disasters.
I will also provide an example of how mobility causes vulnerability in a disaster – a stranded commuter or person during the GEJE.
Poor and non-poor groups from two flood-prone villages in central Thailand were compared following the flood of 2011. The results showed that the damage/income ratio was higher among persons in the poor group living in old, high-pillared houses near the river. Although this group was not as well prepared and experienced less damage than the non-poor group, they had fewer resources for recovery. The study examined household history, networks, and socio-economic status, as well as the local history. The poor group’s socio-economic characteristics may limit their capacity to resettle, as they have lived in the flood-prone area for generations. Proposals to address this included improving dykes and early warning systems as well as offering compensation for lost earnings.
A questionnaire-based survey was carried out in the 13th district of Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan. For this purpose, 10 high schools, both private and public, were selected randomly. A total of 324 participants responded to the questions in the questionnaire. From the total respondents, 127 (39.2%) were female and 197 (60.8%) male; all were in the 15 to 25 age range. Most of the students (75%) had experienced an earthquake, but their perceptions and knowledge about earthquake mitigation were not good as over 50% did not know what to do during an earthquake. Regarding the current situation, 64% responded that disaster education had not been included in their school curricula. The wide participation and strong interest of the students in this survey are expected to foster further research and investigation, as the majority of them (70%) were in a position to transfer their knowledge about earthquake disaster mitigation to their families.
Based on the survey findings, despite the contribution of students who had already experienced disaster education outside of Afghanistan, students’ disaster mitigation knowledge was undeniably poor. There is a clear need to establish and plan for the disaster prevention education system in Afghanistan. There is a lack of understanding regarding effective behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge. This problem was probably caused by the absence of disaster education, teaching materials, and expert staff. Therefore, it is highly recommended to integrate disaster prevention education into school curricula, reduce the earthquake risk by sharing disaster information through students’ parent council meetings at schools, and improve public awareness in order to create a society that is resilient to earthquakes.
Ocean-bottom pressure and acceleration data simultaneously recorded by the DONET seafloor network during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake approximately 800 km from the earthquake epicenter are processed and analyzed. The close location of pressure and acceleration sensors together with the high data-sampling rate enable us to quantitatively examine and interpret pressure variations together with ocean-bottom acceleration for the first time to our knowledge. To interpret observed data, we introduce a set of characteristic frequencies that enable us to identify physical processes responsible for water layer behaviour dependent on the frequency of ocean-bottom oscillations. Explicit formulas are given for calculating all of the characteristic frequencies, which are the basis for introducing nonoverlapping frequency bands, i.e., hydroacoustic waves, forced oscillations, and gravity waves. The physical correctness of such a subdivision is confirmed by the high coherence and nearly zero phase difference between in-situ measured pressure and acceleration variations observed in the forced oscillation frequency band – a band neither hydroacoustic nor gravity waves are generated by ocean-bottom oscillation because the water layer simply follows the ocean bottom, generating forced oscillations. The dominant, long-lasting pressure fluctuations recorded by DONET during the 2011 earthquake are associated with the forced oscillation, or, more precisely, with water and sedimentary layer coupling oscillation. DONET clearly observed the 2011 Tohoku tsunami signal during more than 24 hours following the earthquake. In contrast to DART records, phase dispersion was not manifested in the tsunami signals registered by DONET.
This paper discusses the Kinugawa River basin, where an overflow and overtopping of the embankment along with its eventual collapse occurred, resulting in a large-scale inundation during the Kanto and Tohoku Flood Disaster in September 2015. The spatial-temporal characteristics of rainfall, characteristics of rainfall runoff, and evacuation behavior of the residents are investigated and analyzed.
This study proposes a mining method for meteorological disaster grade rules from the raw data accumulated by meteorological stations using fuzzy association rules. Rules for grading agrometeorological disasters are created and successfully applied to a map. The intention is to mitigate such disasters by understanding their conditions. The procedure described uses the fuzzy c-means clustering algorithm and the Apriori algorithm to mine fuzzy association rules for high-temperature and flooding agrometeorological disasters in Guangdong province, China. In the proposed method, the clustering algorithm does not depend on the membership functions of domain experts. The results show that effective association rules for agrometeorological disasters can be obtained from meteorological data in the long term, even with a lack of prior knowledge. The rules obtained could be used to forecast the grade and region of such disasters in Guangdong province, thus contributing to agrometeorological disaster monitoring and early warning efforts.
In this study, a series of dam-break experiments was carried out to investigate the influence of the initial downstream water depth, water head settings, and upstream reservoir length on the dam-break wave movement. The instantaneous water level and flow velocity were measured at two specified downstream locations. Considering the requirements for precise data measurement with high temporal resolution, the synchronization of different instruments was realized based on high-speed camera recording. Even with the same initial water head setting, the water level and flow velocity variations of the dam-break wave propagating downstream on the wet bed show noteworthy differences in flow characteristics compared to the initial dry bed, caused by the interactions between the upstream and downstream water. Hydrodynamic formulae proposed by Lauber and Hager (1998)  are not applicable for the wet-bed condition, although their solution of wave profiles for the initial dry-bed condition performs well at the location farther from the gate. The non-dimensional average front velocity of the wet-bed condition, which mainly depends on the initial water head setting, is smaller than that of the dry-bed case. In addition, the maximum water level and flow velocity at the downstream location are mainly controlled by the initial water head setting, while the duration of the large values is influenced by the reservoir length.