Reversibility Between “Nature” and “Society” Recognized in Extreme Meteorological Phenomenon: Taking an Example of the Flood Disaster in the Toga River in Kobe City
Katsuya Yamori* and Motoyuki Ushiyama**
*Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Gokasho, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan
**Disaster Prevention Research Center, Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka-Shi, Shizuoka 422-8529, Japan
This paper considers the reversibility between “nature” and “society” recognized in extrememeteorological phenomena, taking an example of the Toga River flood disaster in Kobe City in July 2008. The point is stressed that, in extreme meteorological phenomena, “nature,” representing dangerous space and time, and “society,” representing safe space and time, are easily reversed. For example, in recent years, the number of cases has increased in which citizens experience a sudden rise in a river at recreational facilities with water such as in the case of the Toga River flood disaster. Later, they confessed that they had encountered flood disasters at an unexpected time and place. This suggests that disaster prevention measures to separate “nature,” a rise in a river and flooding, and “society,” the livelihood of citizens in a town, could ironically promote the occurrence of a flood disaster. Previous disaster prevention measures that have attempted to separate “nature” and “society,” spatially by building levees, etc., and also, temporarily by disseminating disaster information, etc., should be reviewed. It is now recommended that new measures be worked out tomake citizens recognize the reversibility of these two elements – “nature” and “society” – and the difficulty of separating these completely. Concretely, this paper discusses the importance of sharing similar flood disaster cases among citizens and the necessity of risk communication of conflicting and dilemmatic situations.
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