Natural Disasters in Japan

Natural Disasters in Japan
What happened in Ibaraki?
Lessons learned from 2011.3.11
Emergency contact system
What to do in the event of a natural disaster?
Be ready!
Japanese Seismic
Intensity Scale
•Measured in units of Shindo
震度 (degree of shaking).
•This scale describes the degree
of shaking at a point on the
Earth's surface.
•The Moment Magnitude Scale is
based on the seismic moment of
the earthquake.
•Since 1995, levels 5 and 6 are
divided in two, giving a total of
10 levels of earthquake: 0–4,
weak/strong 5 (5弱、5強),
weak/strong 6 (6弱、6強)
and 7.
2011.3.11 14:46, Ibaraki Prefecture
• 14:46: Earthquake, magnitude 7 in Sanriku
Offshore (Sendai)
• 14:46: Magnitude felt in Mito and northern part of
Ibaraki: 6 weak(弱) and 6 strong (強)
• Large aftershock at 15:15 : 6 strong(強)
• March 14th and March 19th : 5 weak (弱)
• More than 1000 aftershocks since the earthquake
Joban Highway 常磐高速道路
Mito Station 水戸駅
Prefectural Office 県庁
Tsunami and nuclear accident in
Fukushima Prefecture (福島県)
• The tsunami inundated a total area of approximately
561 km2 (217 sq mi) in Japan.
• It took between 10 and 30 minutes from the initial
shock for waves to reach the coast.
• Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures had
several towns partially or totally destroyed.
• In Ibaraki Prefecture, the tsunami caused damage in
Kita-Ibaraki, Hitachi,Oarai, Kashima and Kamisu.
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster
• The tsunami broke the reactors' connection to the power grid
and also resulted in flooding of the rooms containing the
emergency generators.
• Consequently those generators ceased working, causing
eventual power loss to the pumps that circulate coolant water
in the reactor.
• The pumps then stopped working, causing the reactors to
overheat due to the high decay heat that normally continues
for a short time, even after a nuclear reactor shut down. The
flooding and earthquake damage hindered external assistance.
• In the hours and days that followed, Reactors 1, 2 and 3
experienced full meltdown.
Lessons learned from 3.11
• Improve our emergency contact system
• Have a strong block system (JETs should never
stay alone)
• Phone / Internet
• Being prepared is essential
• Knowing useful Japanese words is very important
Emergency Contact System in Ibaraki
back home
What to do in case of a disaster…
• If the earthquake is very strong (6 weak, 6弱 or higher)
please send a message to the PA and your block leader
 North and Central Blocks ⇒ Michael
 East, West, and South Blocks ⇒ Albert David
• Example: “We had a big earthquake/ tornado in Bando.
I’m fine. I’m at school/ with friends/ by myself”
• If you can’t call or send a message, try to use the
Post information about yourself and the others (only if you’re 100% sure) on the
Ibaraki JETs Facebook page :
What if I can’t use the phone and internet?
• If you’re living close to another JET try to get to
him/her and stay together.
• If you can’t contact anyone and are living far
from other JETs please stay at school as long as
• If you decide to go home, try to talk to your
neighbor and /or go to the closest evacuation
center. (you may find other ALTs from your
town there).
Major natural disasters in Ibaraki
• Earthquakes (major one in 2011)
• Tsunami (major one in 2011)
• Typhoons (every year in Japan)
• Tornadoes (last year and the year before in
Tsukuba – Shimotsuma –Toride area)
• Nuclear Accidents (1999 in Ibaraki and 2011, in
Fukushima Prefecture).
Few rules to remember: p.45 - 49
• Go to a safe place
• Take your getaway kit
• Try to get information (ask your coworkers)
• Never stay alone
• Be aware of potential aftershocks and
How to be prepared?
• Determine the location of
evacuation centers in your area.
• Prepare a getaway kit as soon as possible.
• Don’t stack heavy items on the top shelves in
your home.
• Join a disaster drill in your prefecture (Nov.
Getaway Kit (p.49)
Have easy access to…
Health insurance card(s)
Small amount of cash (about \30,000)
▫ Most likely banks will not be open and ATMs will
not function
How to understand the situation?
• Television
• Radio
• Japanese Key Words
• Evacuation messages
• Efficient information
Useful Expressions and words
地震 じしん Jishin Earthquake
津波 つなみ Tsunami
台風 たいふう Taifu Typhoon
竜巻 たつまき Tatsumaki Tornado
地滑り じすべり Jisuberi Landslide
避難してください。Hinan shite kudasai.
Please Evacuate.
• 早く高台に避難して下さい。Hayaku Takadai
ni hinan shite kudasai. Please evacuate to
higher ground.
Useful expressions and words II
• ハンドルをしっかり握ってください。
Handoru wo shikkari nigitte kudasai.
Hold the handle firmly.
• ハザードランプをつけてください。
Hazarudo ramp wo tsukete kudasai.
Turn on the hazard lights.
• ゆっくりスピードを落としてください。
Yukkuri Speedo wo otoshitekudasai.
Slowly reduce the speed.
三角表示板 Sankaku hyojiban
When can I get accurate information?
• Your embassy
• Prefectural Homepage:
• BBC / NKH World / Kyodo News Agency
• NPR website:
Where can I get accurate
• Yahoo Japan (天気 weather) for earthquakes:
• When you find information about the nuclear
crisis in Japan, always double check it.
• Attention grabbing information isn’t necessarily
accurate information.
Applications for i-phone
If you haven’t already…
• Sign up with your home country’s embassy!
They can contact your family in case of a disaster,
and may also send you information about bad
weather, events, etc.
Last advice
• Don’t panic.
• Watch people around you and follow the
instructions of your school / JTE.
• Try to calm the students down at school .
• Try to see if you can help your neighbor / other
• Volunteer if you can!