«by: MA. ALETHA A. NOGRA Civil Def fense Offic III cer Office of Civil D e Defense-Departmen of Natio Defen nt onal nse R Republic o the Philippines ...»
This is being conducted several times a year and is specifically designed to improve the ability of individuals to deal with disaster situations. The International Training Course is a course wherein participants learn knowledge on disaster management using Japanese system as a practical model and know-how learnt from the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake. It is entrusted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) targeting various countries and regions in the world. There are four types of courses being offered. The first course is entitled Top Forum. Based on the latest research results and information on national disaster prevention measures, the heads of local governments discuss the required responses for future major disasters and review how local government crisis management ought to be. This course is specifically designed for governors and directors of local governments. The second course is entitled Management Course, Basic. Focusing on disaster mechanisms and the experiences of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the course provides systematic learning of basic disaster countermeasures and the like for each department. The target participants are personnel of regional public entities responsible for disaster management with less experience. The third course is Management Course, Expert which is conducted through exercise and concrete examples of disaster reduction.
This course strengthens the capability to understand ways to cope with large scale disasters comprehensively where various countermeasures should be taken. This course is designed specifically for personnel of regional pubic entities responsible for disaster management. The fourth course being offered is Management Course, Advanced. Based on the experiences and lessons learnt from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, DRI hopes to teach courses about policy oriented decision-making issues that may arise when future large scale disasters strike. This course is aimed at improving the ability of individuals to assist managers of regional public entities. The target participants for this course are personnel of regional public entities responsible for disaster management and who are expected to maintain the effective management of their divisions.
Exchange and Networking. DRI considers itself as an institution which functions as a cross-road of government practitioners, researchers, citizens and business enterprises with experiences and interest in the Earthquake and disaster reduction. DRI provides a venue for encounters of various disciplines and people, as well as for domestic and international cooperation, so as to promote diverse initiatives for mitigating social vulnerability.
The Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park
The visit to the Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park was the reinforcement of what the Cabinet Office (Disaster Management) talked about regarding the institutionalization of the countermeasures for Tokyo Inland Earthquake in terms of making individuals prepare for such disaster. The Park has a high technology experience for people through the E-Learning Facility. One can learn how to survive for the next 72 hours right after a disaster occurs since discussions and examples of what to do, what to bring and where to go are being taught.
This high technology or E-Learning Facility is the most appropriate way of educating communities in a mega city about Disaster Prevention, specifically on how to survive for 72 hours before the government emergency response can reach you. This way, individuals become self sufficient on their own during a few hours or even a few days after a disaster strikes.
G. Disaster Resilient Infrastructure Development and Transportation System:
Hanshin Expressway Company Limited One excellent example of mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in infrastructure development and transportation system is tremendously displayed in the build up and operation of Japan Expressways. The Hanshin Expressway Company Limited aims to achieve more advanced expressway management and services especially after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. First and foremost, the Hanshin Expressways are a network of high- speed motorways in the Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto areas of Japan.
With a total of extension of 245.7 kilometers and daily traffic of 860,000 vehicles, Hanshin Expressways serve as main arteries for transportation in the Kansai metropolitan area. Hanshin Expressways make one of the key components of Kansai socio-economic infrastructure, indispensable to the people’s daily life and most essential to the region’s economic development. The company has three core operations and activities. One is providing safe and secure road services by carrying out maintenance, management; traffic safety measures; prevention of toll violation; and comprehensive disaster preparedness measures. Second is creating a comfortable network of expressways. While developing new expressways, Hanshin Expressway implements various measures to alleviate congestion, improve traveler information provision, and develop more attractive rest areas in order to realize comfortable network expressways through expressway network development; shift of toll charge system;
congestion mitigation; flatness improvement of road surface; provision of easier-to-understand information; rest area improvement; and development of off-road rest areas. Third is engaging with customers and communities by placing importance on communicating with customers and local communities as well as implements a variety of social responsibility activities, including environmental and aesthetic measures. To achieve this, the company puts emphasis on communication with customers and local communities; environmental and aesthetic considerations; active promotion of international activities; incorporation of customer views; and conducting diverse services deriving from expressway operations. With greater efforts on ensuring safe and secure travel, roadway maintenance and management is rigorously implemented. Hanshin expressway carries out daily traffic patrol and maintenance activities to keep the expressways in good condition and to ensure the safety, security, and comfort for expressway users and roadside residents. An information management system is utilized to ascertain current expressway structural conditions prior to preparing maintenance and repair plans to ensure maximum efficiency. For traffic safety measures, Hanshin Expressway formulated the Traffic Safety Measure Action Program in 2007 and carried out traffic safety measures to year 2009. As a result, traffic accidents decreased by 1,220 in 2009 which exceeded the target reduction of 1,000. There is a new action program being prepared in order to achieve further reductions in traffic accidents and in the future, measures focused on route comprehension and driver behavior will also be introduced in addition to traditional measures on safety devices for accident-prone sites. On comprehensive disaster preparedness measures, lessons learned from the damages caused by South Hyogo Prefecture earthquake, the Hanshin Expressway has retrofitted Expressway bridges to ensure their resistance to earthquakes and prevent their collapse. Two types of earthquake movements-a large scale earthquake associated with plate boundaries (such as earthquakes projected to occur in the Tokai and Tonankai areas in the near future) and an inland crustal earthquake such as the South Hyogo Prefecture Earthquake)-were assumed for the retrofitting. Using the lessons learned in 1995 Great Earthquake, Hanshin Expressways Management is fully prepared to carry out post-quake emergency recovery operations to enable speedy recovery of bridge and road functions. Hanshin Expressway likewise monitors earthquakes, typhoons, and other weather conditions on a 24-hour basis and provides necessary information to drivers so that they can use expressways without worry. Part of their disaster preparedness activities is aimed at imparting to future generations the experience that Hanshin Expressway underwent during the 1995 Great Earthquake, including damages incurred and recovery operations carried out.
Hanshin Expressway has actively adopted seismic isolation and vibration dampening technologies that are best suited to the structural properties of individual bridges to achieve earthquake resistance in an economic and efficient manner. The Minato Ohashi bridge, is an example of a bridge structure that uses seismic isolation sliding bearings instead of metal bearings supporting the bridge deck on which vehicles run to decrease the effect of earthquakes and thus protect the main truss, which constitutes the bridge’s framework, from damage. Further on disaster preparedness systems and procedures for disaster preparedness while taking structural anti-seismic measures. It has formulated a Business Continuity Plan to be put into effect in the event of a major earthquake with seismic intensity of 5 or stronger (according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency). The plan includes guidelines on post-disaster actions to take in order to ensure safety, including rescue work, and to facilitate disaster recovery operations by establishing emergency transport routes. The Traffic Control Center is responsible for investigating post-disaster damage levels and weather conditions on a 24-hour basis to provide relevant information to customers and provide other support.
The Hanshin Expressway Museum plays a key institution in informing the present and future generations about the lessons learned during the 1995 Great Earthquake.
Structures of Hanshin Expressway that were damaged during that time are on display so that the experiences of post-earthquake disaster and recovery operations will be passed on to future generations.
H. Higher Learning Institutions’ Role in Fostering a High Level Community Disaster Risk Reduction The Kobe University Office for the Reconstruction Support and the Research of Disaster Science plays a very vital role in fostering a high level of disaster reduction especially after the unprecedented earthquake on March 11, 2011 which has brought greatest grief and sorrow ever to the Japanese people as described by the President of the University in one of his messages. Further, according to him, due to the accident at Fukushima nuclear power plant, many people are still forced to live inconvenient lives even after almost more than a year and a half has passed since the disaster. Kobe University had greatly suffered itself during the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in January 17, 1995 and warm support came from people all over Japan to include people in the Tohoku and Kanto regions. As such, Kobe University is indebted to the warm support at the time. In the wave of Tohoku Earthquake, Kobe University immediately began to send relief supplies and technical staff to Tohoku University in he spirit of its experience based on lessons leaned from Kobe Earthquake in 1995. Since then, the University has been actively engaged in various activities including organization of the disaster prevention symposia and publication of the Kobe University’s Proposals for Reconstruction t support the suffered people and the recovery of the region. Kobe University, together with Tohoku University, also engaged in collaborative support activities which initially began by signing a memorandum for broader framework to cooperate in disaster science. As such, Kobe University has launched the Office for Reconstruction Support and the Research of Disaster Science, in order to promote academic research, cultivate human resources in the fields of disaster science, and contribute to the society. The missions of this newly created Office include supporting reconstruction activities and research groups, and organizing disaster related symposia.
Although the scale and impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake was far beyond the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, Kobe University is determined to bring all the knowledge and insights through the strong connection with other universities, research institutions, and government bodies, and continue to support the afflicted people and the reconstruction of the disaster-hit area. These efforts hope to find solutions of common issues surrounding the disaster reconstruction in the world. All in all, the Office aims to support recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake in the suffered areas, conduct research in the field of disaster science and contribute to solve the common issues for all human beings during disaster restoration, including expert education and social contribution. As the Office operational policies, the collaboration agreement between Kobe University and Tohoku University states that a continued support to various groups engaged in reconstruction activities at the suffered areas with the help of other universities and municipal governments in the Tohoku region and at the same time, continue to investigate what are needed in the suffered areas especially until the present times and offer support based on the lessons learned through the recovery from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.
Community involvement in the recovery process is highlighted in the various presentations on lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake. On our trip to Higashimatsushima City, we visited the area for Seaweed (Nori) Farming, a government-funded recovery project to address the provision of livelihood for the communities affected by the tsunami during the Great East Japan Earthquake. According to our guide, before the March 11, 2011 earthquake, each family has seaweed farming as their livelihood. Now, they have adopted a new system which is a collaboration of 12 families affected by the tsunami. With the new technology provided to them, they can produce 80,000 products per day as compared to before the earthquake which is only 40-50,000 products/day from the said area. In another area, there are different flavored Nori and well-packaged ready for distribution to the consumers. In the nearby area, there are also people who are engaged in debris-collection and processing as part of the recovery project.