イベント名 APRUマルチハザードサマースクール
開催日 2013年7月23日-25日
開催場所 東北大学(日本)
参加報告者 工学研究科修士1年Raouffard M. Mahdi

Report of “APRU-IRIDeS Summer School Program”


1. Introduction

To mark the second anniversary of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, APRU and Tohoku University launched the APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Program was held on 23-24 July at the WPI-AIMR 2F, Katahira Campus, Tohoku University along with a site visit on July 25th. Here I try to give a brief report of what was discussed and done.

The International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) of Tohoku University now provides secretariat services as the regional program hub harnessing the collective capabilities of APRU universities for cutting-edge research on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and recovery, shares strategies to cope with campus disaster risk management, and contributes to international policy making processes on DRR. Who is APRU? The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), formed in 1997, is a consortium of leading research universities in the Pacific Rim. APRU aims to foster education, research and enterprise thereby contributing to the economic, scientific and cultural advancement in the Pacific Rim. APRU embodies a commitment to global academic and research standards in both its objectives and guiding principles.


APRU`s Members’ Map

Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, USA



2. Day One ( 23 July ):

2.1. Prof. Fumihiko Imamura, Tohoku University

Topic: Introduction of IRIDeS and its role

Brief review:


Professor Imamura who is the head of Endowed Research Division of Tohoku University gave us a total image of what he and his colleagues are doing in IRIDeS. This research group just started after the Great East japan Earthquake Disaster to promote disaster prevention. The aim of this new team is using the state-of-art research projects to help the local municipalities and governments in the affected areas and contributing to their recovery and reconstruction efforts.

Prof. Imamura also ponied out some interesting facts which are as below:

a. Due to the time-consuming of the process of calculating the tsunami size, the initial assumption was much far from the reality. For example after 3 minutes, the estimated maximum height of tsunami was just 6 meters and the Magnitude was 7.9 however, after around 25 minutes they could reach the approximate real information coming from different stations. Tsunami attacked Sendai in 20 minutes and it was late to warn people about the real threat. People also didn’t take it seriously even though the local government warned people seriously. The reason was because of the former tsunami warning which was stating that the tsunami height might be of 3 meters but in reality it was just less than 90 cm and the tide wall at that time could perfectly repel it.


b. 400 years ago a samurai named “Masamu

ne Date” built a line of forest (20~30meters high) along the sea shore and a huge canal just behind it to defend against tsunami however it didn’t work properly for this big wave and almost

all the forest has gone. On the other hand the floated trees themselves turned to heavy and destructive debris and attacked the city.

This shows that any defending system can be a passive peril of the whole system itself.

Tsunami attack


The remaining of trees in the same area


2.2. Prof. Nobue Shuto, Tohoku University

Topic: A century against floods, storm surges and tsunami in Japan

Brief review:

Prof. Shuto is a very nice old man with a huge amount of experience in his own field of research. His talk was interesting since he had a clear image of the past and what has happened in Sendai 2011. He was insisting on this point that many of designed and constructed sea walls were not working at all during the heavy storms and waves attack. He gave us some samples of failure and success of the defend systems in the past.


2.3. Prof. Masato Motosaka, Tohoku University

Topic: Experience of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake for stronger campus against earthquake

Brief review:

Prof. Motosaka is the head of Hazard and Risk evaluation Division at IRIDeS. During the 2011 Earthquake he was at his office along with some of his students and they were stranded among tens of heavy books fallen on them due to the shaking bookshelves. He said that he couldn’t open the door to evacuate his room since many books blocked the doorway. It was his first lesson of that earthquake that inner nonstructural things should be kept in a safe situation.

Here are some of the interesting points of his lecture:

a. He showed a short footage of Ishinomaki red Cross Hospital which was equipped with base isolation. In that footage we could see that how smoothly the building was responding to the quake and consequently after 3 minutes of shaking the hospital could revive its serviceability.

b. In Sendai city there are different regions with different soil conditions and that made a big difference in ground motion acceleration and consequently led to damage to some areas.

c. The average of occurrence of Earthquake in Sendai is 37.1 years and the last quake was in 1978 therefore the probability of the earthquake was 99%.

d. Tohoku University has 5 campuses in various soil conditions and the one located in Aobayama has the weakest soil. In this campus a 9 story building had a serious damage due to the resonance. This building was built in 1969 and retrofitted in 2000 and had

experienced 2005 and 2008 earthquake but in 2011 because of the amplified ground motion the building partially uplifted. It was destroyed later.

e. The city area apart from Aobayama was completely resistant against earthquake due the robust designing and construction.

f. Aside from the structural safety, we need to think of problems of refuge plan and evacuation drill. Before 2011 these drills where mostly based on earthquake and fire but from now Tsunami also should be trained at schools too. Also the new tsunami warning system should be installed and drilled every year.


2.4. Mr. Hiroshi Ishikawa, City of Sendai

Topic: Building a disaster-resistant city based on the lessons learned from Great East Japan Earthquake.

Brief review:

In this lecture Mr. Ishikawa who is the senior director of the world conference on Disaster Risk reduction Perpetration Department of Sendai City gave us an image of the damage and the solution applied by the City.

Here are the main key talks:

a. Damage in Sendai:

i. Death toll (as of August 31 2012): 891,

ii. Building damage: 30005 (Fully destroyed),

iii. estimated total damage: 1.3 Trillion Yen (16.7 Billion dollars)

b. Building a disaster- resistant city:

i. Development of equipment and facilities and systems.

Infrastructures will be built disaster resistant. Multiply defense system against tsunami is under construction. Review of the evacuation centers. Smart energy network will be adopted to provide electricity for people in case of major power outage.

ii. Development of self-reliant communities based on mutual support.

Promote the support activities in cities and town. Promote the participation by women and children in disaster reduction activities.

iii. Development of strong disaster- prevention awareness in citizens:

Holding disaster-reduction seminars for citizens. Developing local leaders for disaster reduction. Improving new education system regarding to reduction of disaster.


2.5. Prof. Shunsuke Managi, Tohoku University

Topic: The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake Tsunami: Joint survey group

Brief review:

In this lecture Dr. Managi mostly talked about the effect of this disaster on the economy and the role of media in translating the real image of what happened to public. Here are the main key points of his lecture:

a. The estimated total loss of this disaster to Japan economy is 5~7% ( GPD loss),

b. Just the day after tsunami many people wanted to go back to their inundated places and do the daily

businesses but in some cases there were nothing left for them.

c. The pace of reconstruction in Sendai compared with other places in the world is the highest but due to the large amount of debris it turned to a touch and time consuming job,

d. After one year, Sendai local government realized that the budget they had asked for reconstruction was much bigger than what in reality was needed. But what was the reason of this miscalculation. The reason could be the mental shock of the whole society and the reflection of the heavily damaged area on media and generalizing it to the whole area. However in some areas the amount of loss was very small. And this fact shows the importance of several field observations by the authorities just after the disaster.

e. The next key issue was how to report the reality of disaster to public. In case of Fukushima radioactive problem the understanding of scientists and the concepts that public take from this happening could be way different. How can we handle this understanding gap and how can we translate correctly the scientist conclusions to the media channels. This was the reason the many western media thought that the radioactive incident in Fukushima destroyed all the fish industry in japan and so on.

f. The conclusion was this that the best way to handle many of problems after each disaster is providing a mutual understanding channels between media and academic centers to provide true and reliable news, something is that is very difficult to accomplish in the first days of huge disasters.

g. Winston Churchill says : “The one thing we have learned from history is that we don’t learn from history”


3. Day 2 ( 24 July ): Lecturers and topics

3.1. Mr. Manabu Suzuki, City of Tagajo

Topic: Towards disaster risk reduction city


Brief review: Mr. Suzuki gave us a lecture about Tagajo city after the tsunami. Tagajo city is located 12km from the downtown Sendai city with population of 62513 as of May 2013. In Tohoku area this city is the most populated dense one that is 3100/km2 and a heavy traffic of 76000cars/day. During the earthquake over 90% of the city was inundated and 188 people died who just half of them were from this city.

The reconstruction plans in this city will be done in 3 phases as shown in the picture below:


3.2. Prof. John Rundle, University of California, Davis

Topic: A web-based approach to Global Earthquake Forecasting

Brief review: Prof. Rundle started his lecture with a showing a clear image of San Francisco Earthquake in 1906. In this lecture he introduced his newly developed web-based Risk management project. Its website is www.openhazard.com . The aim of this project is providing a web-based platform for all the people who are interested in Personal Risk Management of the place where they live or work. And also another amazing point of his work is the Collaborative social Network. That is to say, adopting social networks such as Facebook and twitter in this system and collecting the observation data by each individual to enrich the current data gradually.


3.3. Prof. Hugo Romero, University of Chile

Topic: Geographical and Sociopolitical Vulnerabilities and Resilience in Chilean recent Natural Disasters.

Brief review: Prof. Romero is from department of Geography from Chile University. Chile is located along the Pacific Ocean and has experienced several huge quakes and Tsunamis. His main lecture was based on the Chilean Natural disaster reduction fashion which indeed he was criticizing it. His main key points are as follows:

a. In Chile many people live on the foothills which some of them are volcanic ones or have landslide tendency. After each natural disaster many people lose their houses and lives but due to the lack of Governmental management the victims come back to the previous place and keep living there until the next disaster.

b. There is no scientific collaboration study between the Chile and its neighbors in order to provide a rich database of nature. Especially when it comes to the assessment of tsunami height this need comes to the surface and still nothing has happened.

c. In many cases local government reactions and measurements just vanish the history of disasters and make no record for the future studies.



3.4. Group Work ( Roles of Universities in DPR)

At the end we had a group work. In this section we were divided into 5 groups and discussed about the safety of our campuses and discussed how to improve the safety and hazard awareness of people there.

Prof. Rundle and us discussing the related topics


4. Day 3 (Field Trip)

Our field trip started from 8 am and it was scheduled as follows:

4.1. Onagawa (Overturned Buildings)

Onagawa town is 50 km northeast of Sendai city. According to survivors the tsunami alarm sounded just after the earthquake but the system stopped a few minutes later.


The hospital which is located on the top of the hill was inundated up to the first floor. In this area the maximum observed tsunami is 18 meters. The most remarkable feature in this area is that six reinforced concrete buildings were overturned by tsunami and just 3 of them remained intact as the memorials.

The maximum water level at the first floor of Onagwa hospital.


Total level of water.


On of the overturned RC buildings.


4.2. Ishinomaki (Damaged School and Factory Area)

This place was protected by breakwaters, seawalls and control forests. Even though these defend systems were not fully successfully, their existence made the losses much lower than other undefended areas. The big problem after Tsunami in this area was fire which begun by electrical short in a car battery. The Kadonawaki elementary school got in fire but fortunately before the tsunami arrived all the students and staff had been evacuated to the top hill behind the school.

Kadonawaki elementary school after the fire 2011


Kadonawaki elementary school under reconstruction 2013


4.3. Arahama village ( Damaged school, seawall, Tsunami memorial)

This village is a populated village of 2704 resident (as of 2010) and located 6 km south of Sendai port. Tsunami arrived almost one hour after the earthquake to max wave height 10 meters. This village was not ready for such a big wave and the only evacuation place was a four story building which fortunately remained safe after the earthquake and 520 people could use it a shelter.

Seawall which is covered by sand after the Tsunami


The remaining of forest line in Arahama


4.4. Yuriage town ( Past tsunami memorial, reconstruction model)

This area is located near the Natori city and was high-activity fishery port with 7000 residents. The death toll here was high including fire fighters on duty. Tsunami height was 8 meters here and arrival time was 45 minutes after the earthquake.

Yuriage town before and after Tsunami


4.5. Sendai airport

Sendai airport was built in 1940. It is located 13.6 km southeast of Sendai city. The inundation level was up to the 2nd level of passenger terminal (3.5 m). All the services stopped and 1300 people were stranded in the terminal until March 13th.

Airport in tsunami 2011


Airport after tsunami 2011


4.6. Thousand years hope hill ( Hill made of tsunami debris)

The greenbelt in this area was heavily damaged and the city has a plan to replants it They have an idea to constructed artificial hill which height varies from 10-15 meters using the tsunami debris. This hill is being built to protect the new city behind it. The town has planned to use solar energy in a large scale to build an eco-compact city project.

Thousand years hope hill project map


Thousand years hope hill project under construction