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JDR Vol.12 No.6 pp. 1098-1108
(2017)
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2017.p1098

Paper:

Has 20 Years of Japanese Earthquake Research Enhanced Seismic Disaster Resilience in Kumamoto?

Naoshi Hirata

Earthquake Research Institute, the University of Tokyo
1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan

Corresponding author

Received:
August 22, 2017
Accepted:
October 17, 2017
Online released:
November 29, 2017
Published:
December 1, 2017
Keywords:
HERP, Kumamoto Earthquake, hazard estimate, disaster management plan, disaster resilience
Abstract

It has been about 20 years since the Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion (HERP) was established following the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Disaster. Now the time has come to examine its contributions to disaster resilience. On April 14 and 17, 2016, a series of large earthquakes, including M6.5 and M7.3 events, occurred in Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan. More than 200 fatalities and 8,600 totally collapsed houses were reported. The earthquakes occurred on known active faults, which were assessed by the Earthquake Research Committee (ERC) before the events. The regional disaster management plan by Kumamoto Prefecture had predicted the events reported by the ERC and estimated damages at about the same level as what was actually seen. However, even though the estimate was accurate, the countermeasures were insufficient: the local people still did not seriously expect a large earthquake to strike in their local area, and their efforts to enhance the disaster resilience of the Kumamoto area were insufficient. This suggests that the efforts by the HERP were not sufficient to make the local community resilient enough to withstand a large earthquake.

Cite this article as:
N. Hirata, “Has 20 Years of Japanese Earthquake Research Enhanced Seismic Disaster Resilience in Kumamoto?,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.12, No.6, pp. 1098-1108, 2017.
Data files:
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