Earthquake training centres in Japan
Japan is a nation that prides itself on organisation and preparation, and has learnt a great deal from the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji earthquake that took place in the Kobe region says Japanese academic Associate Professor Kaori Okano in Asian Studies Program.
She says that since this incident Japan has taken great measures to train their citizens, starting from as young as primary school children to be fully prepared for an earthquake. School children, adults who are in the workforce, to international workers are taken to earthquake training centres as part of educating people living in Japan.
‘Kobe now has a museum, research and education centre known as the “Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution” (DRI) where their aim is to share the past experience of the ‘95 earthquake so future generations are better prepared for disasters such as the one which took place last Friday,’ Dr Okano says.
She says school children have since undergone more thorough drills during school hours, and residents are regularly notified about where crisis shelters are located within their region.
‘When Kobe was going through stages of rebuilding the city, schools buildings which are two or three stories high were rebuilt with swimming pools on the roofs so the water could effectively be used for putting out fires in the event that no electric pumps are usable,’ she says.
To find out more about the DRI centre visit: www.dri.ne.jp/english/index.html
If you would like to speak with Associate Professor Okano directly please contact:
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