Day_129 : Natural Disasters in China (1) – Two Earthquake Disasters


The overviews of Natural Disasters in China are the followings:

1) Death numbers
Source: EM-DAT

2) Affected numbers
Source: EM-DAT

3) Damage costs
Source: EM-DAT

Natural disasters in China are very large scales, reflecting country’s population and geographical size. Also, we need to know that China has a rapidly growing economy. We can confirm the normal historical trends of natural disasters, from human sufferings to economic damages, which this note already mentioned (Day 77). For instance, the top 10 deadliest natural disasters in China are all before 1970s. On the contrary, the top 10 costliest natural disasters in China all occurred after 1990s.

Two Earthquakes
Yang Zhang William Drake et al. (2016)* indicate interesting views on two earthquake disaster recoveries: the 1976 Tangshan earthquake and the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. The point is why the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake recovery was so rapid compared to the 1976 earthquake.
However, the paper could add the total background changes in China, such as the economy and politics. China has changed dramatically since 1976, from historical viewpoints.

A comparison of the two earthquakes will be explained.

Yang Zhang William Drake et al. (2016), Disaster Recovery Planning after Two Catastrophes: The 1976 Tangshan Earthquake and the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 34(2):174–200.

Day_203 : Distant Tsunamis Triggered by Massive Earthquakes: The 1960 Chilean Earthquake and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

On the early morning of May 23, 1960, a massive earthquake, the largest ever recorded with a magnitude of 9.5, struck southern Chile. This earthquake unleashed a tsunami that swiftly crossed the Pacific Ocean, reaching the Japanese coast about 22.5 hours later. The tsunami, which surged up to 8 meters high, resulted in 139 deaths and caused the destruction or displacement of 2,830 buildings across Japan. Due to the geographical position of Chile opposite Japan, the tsunami’s impact was more pronounced upon reaching the Japanese shores. These distant tsunamis are particularly challenging to forecast since they occur without the preliminary tremors typically associated with earthquakes. Consequently, regions prone to seismic activity, particularly around the Pacific, including Hawaii, have established early warning systems.

Day_168 : Past Interview Records – PTWC (Pacific Tsunami Warning Center) in Hawaii (1)


In 2004, the Indian Ocean was struck by another significant earthquake, which triggered a devastating tsunami. At that time, the absence of a tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean contributed to a staggering death toll of 300,000. The effectiveness of tsunami warnings is limited by their ability to reach extensive coastal areas promptly. Therefore, it is crucial for residents to be aware of their local environmental characteristics and rely on personal judgment and preparedness to mitigate the risks posed by tsunamis.

Day_87 : North and Central Americas – Mt. St.Helens and Mt.Pelee

1.Volcanic Disasters

North America
Mount St.Helens erupted in 1980. 57 people were dead.
St.Helens volcanic eruption was really huge. You can see this from the following video.


From environmental and sociological perspectives, the difference between the U.S. and Japan is the people’s and nature’s relationships. This case indicated that somehow. The people are living far from nature, on Mt.Helens. That is why the fatality number was not so large compared to the huge eruption. In Japan, people tend to live near and with nature. This is called “Satoyama” in Japanese. Other Asian countries are the same with Japan.
This will be discussed later.

Mount Pelee
St.Pierre City was destroyed completely in 1902 by Mt. Plee’s eruption.
The population of the city was approx. 28000; almost all were dead, only 2 survived. One of the only two survivors was in prison. The story can be seen from the following video.

2. Climate, meteorological, and hydrological disasters: Hurricanes

North America
In 1900, Galveston’s death toll was over 6,000
2005 Katrina, the death toll was over 1400, and the cost was $100 billion . UDS
In 1998, Mitch reported that 13,700 people were victimized in Honduras and 3,300 in Nicaragua
Hurricane Jeanne,  2800 were killed in Haiti

Disaster data, such as death toll, is sourced from the NIED DIL homepage.

Day_41: disaster vulnerabilities by regions

I just used 1980–2008 natural disaster data (ADRC 2009) and calculated the numbers of fatalities divided by the number of disasters to know the vulnerabilities. The regions mean Asia, the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Oceania.

The following is the order. Sorry, just order; however, we can learn something from the order.

The number of fatalities
1. Asia
2. Americas
3. Africa
4. Europe
5. Oceania

The number of fatalities divided by the numbers of disasters
1. Asia
2. Africa
3. Oceania
3. Americas
4. Europe

The above indicates the vulnerabilities of regions. For example, people in Africa tend to die easily by natural disasters; on the contrary, people in America tend not.

Day_58: Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) and Kobe Earthquake

ADRC is established in 1998 after the Kobe Earthquake. Kobe city’s population had caught up the same level before the disaster in 9 years. Kobe reinvents itself as a center of disaster reduction policies and activities in the world. There are so many disaster-related organizations in HAT Kobe. The HAT means “Happy and Active” and also “surprised” in Japanese. This is a good example to refer to for the disaster recovery process. We can learn the lessons from Kobe. ADRC contributes to disaster reduction policies and activities for member countries in Asia. We can check member countries disaster management systems, country reports, and others. We can also confirm the updated disasters on the ADRC’s website.

*ADRC member countries information site.

** Disaster Information

Day_60 : 1988 Landslide disaster in Thailand

1988 The landslide disaster was the turning point in Thai society. The major landslide hit Nakhon Si Thammarat province in the south of Thailand, and the number of casualties was approximately 230. This is assumed to be caused by deforestation. After recognizing the situation, the King talked to the people in Thailand about protecting the environment on December 4, 1989. This became a trigger to facilitate environmental policy and movement in Thailand. In 1992, environment-related agencies, organizations, funds, and others were established. This is the same year as the UN Earth Summit.

Day_164 : Development Environment Disaster Cycle Model

As mentioned before in Day_56, it is clear the model, development-environment-disaster cycle model is an analyzer that can be considered in a wide range of areas. In other words, this analysis perspective raises the sociological position of natural disasters, and the stepping stone of their historical and geographical connections become clearer. We believe that it will even be possible to provide various perspectives to prevent it from being guided.

Analytical Viewing Angle by Causal Cycle Model: Case of Isewan Typhoon Disaster and Indian Ocean Tsunami Disaster

In this section, Isewan typhoon disaster and Indian Ocean tsunami disaster are specifically analyzed using the analysis view angle, the causal cycle model of development, environment, and disaster. The first is the Isewan Typhoon that hit Nagoya on September 26, 1959. The disaster was a turning point of disaster management in postwar Japan, but focusing on driftwood damage, which is one of the important aspects of the disaster, the economic recovery of postwar Japan, trade with the United States, and Japan. Forest management, natural disasters such as landslides, the problem of hay fever, which is also called national illness, and the inter-relationship between deforestation and natural disasters in the Philippines, which becomes today, will become clear. Second, regarding the Indian Ocean Tsunami that caused enormous damage on December 26, 2004, mainly in the countries around the Indian Ocean, the damage in Thailand will be analyzed. This analysis reveals the development-environment-disaster in Thailand and its relationship with Japan and Western countries.

The figures are shown as follows:

Figure 1: Interconnections of Typhoon Isewan Disaster

Figure 2: Interconnections of Indian Ocean Tsunami Disasters in Thailand

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Day_162: Disaster Links Library

As mentioned below, the Disaster Links Library has been created. The first draft is attached to this menu as “Disaster Links Library”. There are still many challenges ahead, however, the page will be completed step by step with adding more info.

If you have some excellent links, please let me know.

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Day_148: The World Largest Disaster Links

Below is the disaster links site, which was created a long time ago. I will renew this site step-by-step. In addition, some are still only in Japanese, and original disaster-related pictures are omitted, so I will also consider these.

The below disaster-related world organization’s link site is the one that was built when I was working at NIED DIL and is still working as one of the products there. I am very happy to know that, but I would also like to renew this to contribute to the institute with my gratitude in the near future, I hope.

Day_143 : World Disaster Chronology 1996-1997

Date Place Disaster Type Situations
1996.01- US, East Cold Wave Over 200(DM) Snowstorm
1996.02.17 Indonesia, East (Irian Jaya) Submarine Earthquake M8.1~8.2, 170(DM) Tsunami to Pulau Biak
1996.04- Mongolia Bush Fire The worst bush fire in Mongolia’s  history.
1996.05- Bangladesh Tornado 1,000-1,500(DM) One of the worst tornado disaster in the world
1996.05- Tanzania Strong Wind Over 500(DM)
1996.05- Pakistan Heat Wave Over100(D)
1996.06- China Heavy rain, Flood Over 220(DM), Landslide
1996.06- China, South Heavy rain, Flood Over 1,700(D)
1996.07- China Typhoon, Flood Over500(DM)
1996.07- India Heavy rain, Flood Over750(DM)
1996.07- North Korea Heavy rain, Flood DM(several hundred), Estimated large-scale starving caused by two years successive floods.
1996.07- Nepal Heavy rain, Flood Over210(DM)
1996.09- Japan Typhoon, Flood 11(D), Injured 70 ,Destroyed 900, Inundated over12,000
1996.11- India Cyclone, Flood Over 2,000(DM)
1996.12- Malaysia Typhoon, Flood 200(DM)
1997.01- Madagascar Cyclone, Flood 100(DM)
1997.02- Peru Heavy rain, Floods, and Landslides Over380(DM)
1997.02.28 Iran, Northwest Inland Earthquake M5.5-6.1, 965-1,100 (DM) *
1997.05.10 Iran, East Inland Earthquake M6.8-7.3, 1,600(DM)*
1997.05- Bangladesh Typhoon, Flood Over500(DM)
1997.06- China, Sichuan Heavy rain, Flood, and Landslide 140(DM)
1997.07.09 Venezuela Inland Earthquake M6.9、Over76(DM)
1997.07- Germany/Poland, North Heavy rain, Flood 110(DM) Oder river flooding
1997.08- Japan Heavy rain, Flood 5(D),Inundated Over 14,000
1997.08- China Typhoon, Flood 140(DM)
1997.08- India, North Heavy rain, Flood, and Landslide 130-280(DM)
1997.08- India Tidal wave 400(DM)
1997.09- Japan Typhoon, Flood 12(D), Destroyed approx.200, Inundated over 16,000
1997.09- Pakistan Heavy rain, Flood Over 140(DM), Lahore
1997.10- Mexico Hurricane, Flood Over 400(DM)
1997.10- Somalia Heavy rain, Flood Over 1,700(D)
1997.11- Ecuador Heavy rain, Flood Over 140(DM)
1997.12- Peru Heavy rain, Flood Over 300(D)
1997.12- Brazil and others Forest fire Amazon rainforest conflagration
1997.12- Zambia Heavy rain, Flood Over 200(DM)
1998.02.04 Afghanistan, Northeast Inland Earthquake M5.9-6.1,  2,300(DM)
1998.03- Pakistan Heavy rain, Flood Over300(DM)
1998.03- India Tornado Over 200(DM)
1998.05.31 Afghanistan, Northeast Inland Earthquake M6.6-6.9, 4,000-5,000(DM)
1998.05- India Heat Wave Over 3,000(D)
1998.05- Italy Heavy rain, Flood 180-300(DM)
1998.06- India Typhoon, Flood 1,000(DM)
1998.06- Nepal Heavy rain, Flood Over 110(DM)
1998.06- China Heavy rain, Flood Over 4,200(DM) Yangtze river and other rivers floods, over 200 million (affected)
1998.07- US, South Heat Wave Over 170(DM)
1998.07- India/Bangladesh Heavy rain, Flood Over 3,000(DM) Ganges River flood
1998.07- Uzbekistan Heavy rain, Flood Over 700(DM), a dam was collapsed
1998.07.17 New Guinea, North Submarine Earthquake New Guinea Earthquake and Tsunami M7.1  2,800(DM)
1998.08- South Korea Heavy rain, Flood 250-330(DM)
1998.08- Japan Heavy rain, Flood 25(DM), Destroyed approx.480, Inundation over 13,000
1998.09- Japan Typhoon, Flood 18(DM), Injured 570, Destroyed approx.21,000, Inundation over 8,600, Typhoon No.7,8
1998.09- Japan Typhoon, Flood 9(D), Destroyed approx.100, Inundation over 17,000, Typhoon No.9
1998.09- Japan Typhoon, Flood 14(DM), Injured 60, Destroyed approx.700, Inundation over 12,000, Typhoon No.10
1998.09- Haiti Dominica Typhoon, Flood Over 500(DM), Hurricane George
1998.09- Mexico Heavy rain, Flood Over 1,400(DM)
1998.10- Nicaragua Volcano Over 1,600(DM) Mudslide
1998.11- Thailand Typhoon, Flood 100(DM)
1998.11.29 Eastern Indonesia (Serum Sea) Submarine Earthquake M7.7-8.3  40(DM) Tsunami

* Iran has a lot of earthquake disasters. The below can be referred.

This world disaster chronology is a draft version.  It will be combined with other years and polished later.