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Article

Tadashi Nakasu, Yuichi Ono and Wiraporn Pothisiri

Using the forensic investigation (FORIN) approach, the purpose of this paper is to identify the factors that exacerbated the loss of human life in one of the most…

Abstract

Purpose

Using the forensic investigation (FORIN) approach, the purpose of this paper is to identify the factors that exacerbated the loss of human life in one of the most devastated local municipalities on the coast by 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJET) disaster.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper begins by reviewing the extent of damage to the local municipalities along the Sanriku ria coast, which has a long history of tsunami disasters. Second, the paper compares previous major tsunami events by using a human vulnerability index, and applies this index to detect the city of Rikuzentakata. Third, the paper identifies the root causes of the GEJET disaster in the city. Interview records with disaster victims were used to elucidate the main factors that exacerbated the number of deaths.

Findings

The study indicates that the FORIN approach can be effectively applied to identify the target city for this case study and to point to those factors the most exacerbated human sufferings, and also provides many lessons based on research findings and methodologies to support building resilient societies in the future.

Originality/value

This paper indicates FORIN approach as an effective research template by investigating the GEJET disaster.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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Book part

Morio Onda

The earthquake and tsunami that struck eastern Japan on March 11, 2011, not only caused extensive direct damage to the population but also triggered a nuclear power plant…

Abstract

The earthquake and tsunami that struck eastern Japan on March 11, 2011, not only caused extensive direct damage to the population but also triggered a nuclear power plant accident that brought the terror and reality of radiation. The restoration of communities in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures presents enormous problems. People from the radiation-contaminated areas have faced numerous ordeals since resettlement after the accident. Through personal interviews with victims, this chapter investigates what happened in the regional societies and how community consciousness changed as a result of the combined natural and manmade catastrophes. The study focuses on the restoration of community from social bonds through mutual help networks as a spontaneous social order. As the result of interviewing, some propositions were developed concerning the transformation of mutual help networks. The stronger the outside assistance from volunteers whom the victims came to trust and rely on, the weaker inside communal help becomes. Inventorying and clarifying the particular problems of conflict in stricken communities such as the loss of confidence in neighbors, the possibilities of rebuilding communities are explored, especially indicating how to cope with the social demise of communities that local people had formed and occupied all their lives.

Details

Recovering from Catastrophic Disaster in Asia
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-296-5

Keywords

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Article

Masahiko Haraguchi

This paper aims to examine how government continuity planning contributes to strengthening the public sector's emergency preparedness, resulting in enhanced resilience of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how government continuity planning contributes to strengthening the public sector's emergency preparedness, resulting in enhanced resilience of the public sector. Government continuity plans (GCPs) are a recently focused concept in disaster preparedness, compared to business continuity plans (BCPs) in the private sector. The need for BCPs was widely recognized after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) and the 2011 Thailand Floods. However, recent disasters, such as the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake in Japan, have revealed that local governments without effective GCPs were severely affected by disasters, preventing them from quickly responding to or recovering from disasters. When the GEJE occurred in 2011, only 11% of municipal governments in Japan had GCPs.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyzes basic principles of government continuity planning using complex adaptive systems (CAS) theory while summarizing recent developments in theory and practice of government continuity planning.

Findings

This research investigates the Japanese experience of GCPs using self-organization, one of the concepts of CAS. A GCP will complement regional disaster plans, which often focus on what governments should do to protect citizens during emergencies but fail to outline how governments should prepare for an emergency operation. The study concludes that GCPs contribute to increased resilience among the public sector in terms of robustness, redundancy, resourcefulness and rapidity.

Practical implications

This paper includes implications for the development and improvement of a GCP's operational guideline.

Originality/value

This research fulfills an identified need to investigate the effectiveness of a GCP for resilience in the public sector and how to improve its operation using concepts of CAS.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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Article

DeMond Shondell Miller

The purpose of this paper is to analyze public trust during the aftermath of technological and hybrid natural-technological/natech disasters – Hurricane Katrina (2005) and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze public trust during the aftermath of technological and hybrid natural-technological/natech disasters – Hurricane Katrina (2005) and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown in Japan (2011). The work identifies common themes, actions and inactivity that can lead to citizens distrusting the government after disasters.

Design/methodology/approach

News reports from the two areas leading newspapers formed the body of the Hurricane Katrina and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown case studies. Of key interest were emerging themes of trust and/or distrust during the immediate impact phase of the disaster in addition to government failures and social breakdowns resulting in a loss of trust in government institutions and individual leaders.

Findings

The series of examples illustrate how specific action or in-action by local and federal governments served as a catalyst for a loss of trust in government institutions and individual leaders in government while proposing potential strategies to help public leaders reduce distrust during times of crisis.

Research limitations/implications

The two limitations were the use of only newspapers and the passage of a new law in 2013, the “Specially Designated Secrets Protection Law,” designed to limit news reporting of the press in Japan on the issue of nuclear radiation exposure of the general public in Japan, some of the new data are not available.

Practical implications

The research concludes by offering specific ways to regain trust after a perception of failure during pre- and post-disaster management in the age of mega disasters. The paper lists several recommendations that can be practically implemented to develop a culture of transparent communication, civic engagement in planning processes and inspire trust among stakeholders.

Originality/value

While the paper identifies barriers to establishing trust among government agencies, the citizenry and private industry, it seeks to help inform policy frameworks regarding the importance of the government’s ability to sustain a strong sense of trust that engenders civic participation in preserving or regaining trust in the aftermath of disasters.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 36 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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