Disaster in Japan, 11 March 2011
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  • 1. Disaster in Japan
    11 March 2011
    David Alexander
    Global Risk Forum Davos
  • 2. 14:46 Friday 11 March 2011
    Earthquake
    • epicentre: 130 km off coast
    • 3. hypocentre: 24 km deep
    • 4. magnitude: 9
    Tsunami
    • height:11.87 - 29.6 m
    • 5. magnitude:3.6 to 4.9
    • 6. 7 waves in 6 hours
    • tsunami warning available in 3 minutes
    • 7. arrival time was 9-26 minutes
    • 8. 443 km2 inundated
    • 9. only vertical evacuation was feasible
    • 10. old and infirm people most at risk?
    • 11. r/c buildings safe, other structures not
    • 14,517 confirmed dead
    • 12. 11,432 missing
    • 13. 78 bodies recovered in
    first three days of April
    • possibly 1000 bodies in the
    20km nuclear exclusion zone
  • 14. In some instances, such as this case,
    there was no one to rescue.
  • 15. 54 of 174 cities in four
    prefectures affected (1/3)
  • 16.
    • 16,950 homes and buildings destroyed
    and 138,000 damaged in 7 prefectures
    • 170,500 people in 2,230 evacuation
    centres in 17 prefectures
    • 70,409 families living in centres
    • 17. 4000 schools damaged and
    554 used as evacuation centres
  • 18.
    • 30,000 transitional houses
    to be supplied in two months:
    • construction has started on 4,216
    • damage estimated at €216 billion
    ($309 billion) - more than twice the
    cost of 1995 Kobe earthquake (€92 bn)
    • insured property losses: 4.5-11.3%
  • Fukushima Daiichi
    Reactors 1, 2 and 3:-
    • damage to the cores from cooling problems
    • 19. buildings holed by gas explosion
    • 20. containment damage possible
    • 21. radioactive water detected in reactor,
    basement and groundwater
    • leaking crack in containment pit of reactor no. 2
    Reactor 4:-
    • shut down prior to quake.
    • 22. fires and explosion in spent fuel pond
    Reactors 5 and 6:-
    • reactors shut down.
    • 23. temperature of spent fuel pools was very high.
    • safe limits exceeded 40 km away
    • 24. radioactivity at plant 100,000 times usual level
    • 25. radioactive iodine in the sea near
    the plant 4,385 times usual level
    • 70% of one reactor core severely
    damaged and 30% of another
    Fukushima Daiichi
  • 26.
    • 20-km radius: 70,000 long-term evacuees
    • 27. 20-30 km radius: 136,000 residents
  • The event:-
    • very intense, widespread destruction
    • 28. permanent alteration of the coast
    • 29. widespread post-earthquake fires
    • 30. worst "Na-Tech" event for many years
  • The response:-
    • quick, well organised response to tsunami
    • 31. rapid accommodation of survivors
    • 32. fast repair of infrastructure
    • 33. very complex logistical problems, especially
    regarding fuel, water supply and sewerage
    • generally high level of resilience.
  • The nuclear incident:-
    • poor public information management
    • 34. evacuation policy inadequate?
    • 35. long-term contamination?
    • 36. lack of public trust in government.
  • What size of event should we plan for?
    Falling hazard
    with diminishing
    probability of
    occurrence
    Rising vulnerability
    with increasing
    seriousness of
    potential
    consequences
    Vertical axis scales:
    Hazard: probability of occurrence
    Vulnerability: potential losses
    Risk: value of probable costs and losses
    Risk as product
    of hazard and
    vulnerability
    Total annual
    predicted costs
    and losses
    Severity
  • 37. What size of event should we plan for?
    Total annual
    predicted costs
    and losses
    Vertical axis scales:
    Hazard: probability of occurrence
    Vulnerability: potential losses
    Risk: value of probable costs and losses
    FAT-TAILEDDISTRIBUTION
    Severity
  • 38. What relationship of this event to:-
    • Kobe earthquake, 17-1-1995 ?
    • 39. Kantō (Tokyo) earthquake, 1-9-1923 ?
    • 40. future Tokyo earthquake scenario ?
  • Is this event a turning point
    in world disaster risk reduction?
  • 41. What price redundancy:
    what should we afford?
  • 42. Likely to be one of the fastest recoveries
    to a major seismic event in recent history,
    but that may not be true
    of the nuclear incident.
  • 43. This was a true complex emergency:
    what does that mean for preparedness?
  • 44. Will this event demonstrate the true
    value of resilience in saving a country
    from economic and social ruin?
  • 45. Will worse happen in Tokyo next time?
  • 46. Will the lessons of the Japanese
    earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident
    be taken to heart by decision makers
    in other countries?
  • 47. Thank you for your attention.
    david.alexander@grforum.org