Perceptions of Volcanic Hazard-Related Information Relevant to Volcano Tourism Areas in Japan
Miwa Kuri and Anawat Suppasri
International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University
6-6-11 Aoba, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8578, Japan
Perceptions of volcanic hazard-related information relevant to volcano tourism areas in Japan were investigated using an Internet questionnaire survey. This study focused on the possibilities of tourism activities as a method of disseminating disaster information not only to residents but also to visitors. We evaluated the effects of educational programs (EP) including recreational activities at geopark, for the purpose of further enhancing information content and establishment of cooperation system. The survey focused on the roles and perspectives of residents, the tourism industry, scientists, and the government in volcanic disaster mitigation, as well as the dissemination of volcanic information with regard to daily activities and the actions to be taken in the event of an emergency. Hazard perceptions tended to be actuate in areas where knowledge dissemination activities were active, but this did not lead to evacuation awareness. Evacuation awareness was correlated with disaster awareness, specifically regarding the degree of interest in a volcano, eruption frequency and style, perceptions of eruption predictability, and trust in information source. Disaster awareness correlated somewhat with eruption style and with the time elapsed science the most recent eruption. Our results showed that the perceptions of residents living near volcanoes depended on eruption frequency, their experience during previous eruptions, and local government assessments of the severity of the volcanic hazard. Despite advances in tools of social media, that is not yet to take advantage under disaster circumstances. A disaster prevention system that incorporates disaster prevention education and open lines of communication among scientists, government, media, residents, and the tourism industry is necessary to improve the disaster resilience of communities in volcanic areas.
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