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The Disasters in Japan 2011 – Kamedo Report 98

The Kamedo observer reports study the medical, psychological, organizational and social aspects of disasters. This report summaries experiences from the disasters in Japan 2011.


On March 11, 2011 at 14:46 the north-eastern part of Japan was hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0. The epicentre of the earthquake was in the ocean about 130 kilometres east of the coast and was the most powerful quake ever to hit Japan.

The earthquake triggered a powerful tsunami that reached the East Coast 26 minutes after the earthquake. Despite high protection barriers in several places along the coast, the tsunami swept in, and in the Sendai prefecture the water reached 10 km inland in some places. It was primarily the tsunami that caused damage to property.

The earthquake and tsunami contributed to the breakdown of the nuclear power plant at Fukushima Dai-ichi. Extensive parts of the infrastructure were eliminated in whole or in part in several prefectures which severely hampered rescue efforts.

Great parts of Japanese society were affected and became involved in the subsequent clean-up work caused by the triple disaster from both an acute and a long term perspective.

The breakdown of the nuclear power plant alone would have been a disaster of such a magnitude to be challenging for the authorities and for the response staff to handle.

It resulted in a situation where the Japanese authorities needed to ensure and coordinate rescue and relief efforts following the earthquake and tsunami over wide spread areas where infrastructure had been wiped out completely or partially – in particular the means of communication – while some of the response staff were also among the victims.

Relocating and housing victims whose homes had been destroyed, and the offers of assistance from the rest of the world were among the major issues to deal with.

Maintaining ongoing and coordinated communications with the media, the general public and the outside world posed a challenge that was difficult to surmount.

Read the full Summary

Year: 2016
Article number: 2016-4-41
Format: POD
Pages: 79
Language: Engelska
Price (VAT included): 90 kr


Susannah Sigurdsson
+46 (0)75 247 30 00