Expert Group Meeting towards Creative Reconstruction from Great East Japan Earthquake 29-31 May 2011 Tokyo, Japan
The March 11 Earthquake and Tsunami which hit Tohoku region along the Pacific coast of Japan was unprecedented in scale and in nature. Measuring a magnitude of 9.0 on Richter scale, the Great East Japan Earthquake was the fourth largest earthquake in the world and the largest in Japan. Subsequent tsunami washed away many medium and small-sized towns and communities along the seashore, resulting in record level human casualties. Recovery and reconstruction have just started, but likely to take many years. U.N. Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction Margareta Wahlstrom is reported to have told that Japan's preparedness for disaster risk reduction "has proven it works": She added the death toll "would have been much higher" in other parts of the world if struck by a disaster with the same magnitude.
It is of great interest among experts to examine what pre-disaster measures, both structural (e.g. seawall, breakwater, tsunami evacuation building/shelter) and non-structural (e.g. tsunami warning, pre-disaster education and exercise, awareness and lessons learned from the past), what worked, what did not work and why.
The Expert Group Meeting is organised in partnership with Asia Disaster Reduction Centre (ADRC), International Recovery Platform (IRP), UN-Habitat, World Bank, Government of Japan and ESCAP.
1) To share experiences from large-scale disasters in the world (e.g. Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, Sichuan Earthquake, Australia Flooding) with Japanese experts working for recovery and reconstruction in Japan.
2) To gain precious lessons from this painful disaster experiences in Japan and to make them useful for disaster risk reduction in other countries.
The expert group meeting will consist of: (1) a two-day field visit to disaster-affected areas in Tohoku region (Miyagi prefecture) to provide foreign experts to see the impact kof disaster and learn from local people and (2) an expert group meeting where experts present their views by comparing their own experiences and what they have learned from the field visit. It will also be an opportunity to explore how to follow up on the meeting.