Disaster Information」カテゴリーアーカイブ

Day_34 : The meanings of the Typhoon Makurazaki in 1945

After the second world war, Japan was vulnerable, so we had a lot of natural disasters, especially Typhoon disasters from 1945 to 1959. Some call this 15 years a great flood and storm era. The first hit was Typhoon Makurazaki on September 15, 1945*.The typhoon hit Hiroshima city. There were 1229 casualties in the city. This fact reminds us what happened in Hiroshima in the same year. The atomic bomb hit Hiroshima city this August. During the war, we had no weather forecast system because of military’s reasons. The people in Hiroshima were living in vulnerable houses because they were hardly hit by the bomb. They did not have enough information . about the typhoon’s coming, either. Therefore, this typhoon disaster is a complex disaster that consists of natural disasters, technological disasters, and human-made disasters.

*Hiroshima Pref. Website:

**A Blank in the Weather Map by Kunio Yanagida



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_199 : Early Signs of Geological Changes Before Landslides

Before significant landslides occur, various clear natural changes are often observed. Notable incidents include the 1963 Vajont Dam landslide in Italy and the 2006 Leyte Island landslide in the Philippines.

On the evening of October 9, 1963, a massive landslide took place near the Vajont Dam in the Alps of northern Italy. The dam, standing at 262 meters, was completed just three years prior. The landslide dislodged approximately 260 million cubic meters of earth, thrusting up the waters of the dam’s lake. The displaced water surged over the dam, rising more than 100 meters before rushing down into the valley below, resulting in approximately 2,000 fatalities. The geological layers in the area were unstable, compounded by the increased water levels from the dam. A minor landslide had previously occurred in 1960, and the landslide’s progress accelerated to several tens of centimeters per day just before the disaster. Despite ongoing monitoring, the catastrophic damage could not be prevented.

Day_140 : Natural Disasters in Europe (2) Vajont Dam Collapse


On February 17, 2006, a mountain 800 meters tall on the Philippine island of Leyte succumbed to a vast landslide, displacing around 20 million cubic meters of soil and claiming 1,144 lives. Before the collapse, cracks had appeared on the mountain’s ridge, and rainfall had begun to seep into the ground.

Identifying these early signs of geological change is crucial. By monitoring their progression and predicting potential danger zones, we can enhance our preparedness and safeguard our lives against such devastating natural disasters.

Contents (in Japanese)
Source: URL:https://dil.bosai.go.jp/workshop/2006workshop/gakusyukai21.html


What causes a landslide?


Day_112 : The 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and Disaster Prevention Day(Tentative)

September 1 is Disaster Prevention Day in Japan. This is because of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake. This quake caused over 105,000 casualties and had huge impacts on Japanese society. The Great Kanto Earthquake is the worst disaster in Japanese history. Here, some points are picked up. First, the quake directly attacks the capital city, Tokyo. Second, the disaster killed so many people mainly by fire, not objects falling. Third, rumors made the disaster worse. Fourth, Tokyo has recovered first and strongly.
With regard to the devastated areas, Tokyo and Kanagawa (Yokohama) populated areas were severely affected by the quake. The epicenter was located near Oshima Island in Sagami Bay, south of Tokyo. In Yokohama, 90 percent of all homes were damaged or destroyed. 60 percent of the city’s population became homeless (Brown University).
Concerning the fire, the time at which the earthquake hit was 11:58, so the families had prepared for their lunches. Many families’ cooking stoves were overturned by the quake, causing fires. The fire spread out with strong winds.
In respect of the rumors, the rumors, especially about Koreans, such as “Koreans do criminal activities and cause social confusion,” make the disaster more political. The Home Ministry declared martial law and ordered all sectional police chiefs to make maintenance of order and security top priorities. After the disaster, the radio became popular all over Japan. This is because of the disaster’s lessons.
Concerning the recovery, Shinpei Goto, Mayor of Tokyo, created and proceeded with a reconstruction plan for Tokyo to rebuild better. The basic infrastructure of today’s Tokyo was built during that time. 

*Death numbers were revised after the recent research from over 140,000 to 105,000 because there were several double countings.

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_53 : Disaster Information : Desinventar

Even though the countries are limited, UN Desinventar has really detailed disaster information. Let me share an example: Vietnam’s data.
Just click the target country (Vietnam), and you can see the different types of data, such as pie charts (disaster type), polygonal lines (trend), spatial (geographical distribution), and statistical (regional data).

The following are the screen shots:.

VietNam_pie VietNam_plot VietNam_spacial VietNam_stat






















* UN Desinventar

Day_193 : Plates and Earthquakes

Earthquakes are caused by the cracking of the plates of rock (bedrock) that lie beneath the earth. Over time, forces build up on these rock plates and eventually they break. The force produced at that time is felt as an earthquake. The main reason for the plates to break is the movement of several large plates that cover the earth. These plates cover the surface of the earth and come in various sizes and shapes. When these plates collide or pass each other, earthquakes are likely to occur.

The Pacific Rim Seismic Zone, which encircles the Pacific Ocean, and the Himalayan-Alpine Seismic Zone, which extends from Indonesia through the Himalayas to the Mediterranean Sea. Japan is in the Pacific Rim seismic zone, and earthquakes occur frequently because of the movement of multiple plates beneath the ground. Depending on how these plates move, large and small earthquakes occur. Large earthquakes are especially likely to occur near deep ocean bottoms (ocean trenches). As the plates move, forces build up on land, which can also cause earthquakes.


Day_153 : Reported Death Numbers

I will update a column of the NIED e-mail magazine which I wrote a long time ago because the content is not faded with time. (I will do this step by step in Japanese and English.) I will also add comments to update the situation.

Published February 4, 2010
NIED-DIL e-mail magazine: Reported fatalities due to disasters

January 12 There was a big earthquake in Haiti. The consequences are still a major social issue, but at an early stage, the President declared that the number of casualties reached 200,000.

At the time of the Hurricane Katrina disaster at the end of August 2005, the first report was 10,000 casualties. But, in the end, there were about 1,300. I felt that nationality, culture, and so on became apparent compared to Japan.

A typical case in Japan is the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. I was living in Kyoto and worked in Kyoto City at that time. I remember that around 7 a.m., it was reported on TV that there were only a few deaths. As time went by, it increased to hundreds and thousands.

The U.S. tends to have a top-down and strategic approach; on the other hand, Japan seeks bottom-up and accurate process to disclose the number. In the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, reported death tolls in affected countries fluctuated, but taking this into account is a way to understand the disasters that reflect the country’s situations, including social backgrounds, cultures, economies, and so on.

Regarding Haiti, the number of reported deaths increases with time. I pray that the number will not be so huge.

For example, the following World Vision website considers the current estimated death to be 250,000. In short, the first report ended up gaining some meaning.


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.