of the new coronavirus has been further spreading, instead of attenuating. In
addition, a typhoon season has come. The most urgent policy is to protect people’s
lives from combined disasters.
PEOPLE’S LIVES FROM COMBINED DISASTERS!
enormous scale of natural disasters hit this country last year, including
Typhoon No.19, torrential rainfall in the northern Kyushu
area, and Typhoons No.15 and No.21, causing extraordinary damages.
year, too, localized excessive precipitation has already robbed people of lives.
And now it is the typhoon season. Combined calamity is foreseen, which overlaps
the on-going adversity of pandemic. The three Cs, which is closed space,
crowded places and close-contact, should be evaded completely in the evacuation
shelters. An effective policy should be urgently needed to be prepared.
deaths of post-disaster perplexities
is reported for years that more and more deaths are seen in the aftermaths of natural
disasters: in the earthquakes which hit the Kansai and Awaji region in 1995, a
ratio of direct loss of lives due to the trembles to the toll related to the aftermaths
was 16.9%, in the 2011 eastern Japan earthquakes, it was 19.9%, and in the 2016
Kumamoto tremor, the repercussion deaths reached almost four times bigger than
direct ones. In the harsh rainfall in the western region of the Honshu Island
in 2018, people who perished in the aftermaths of the natural disaster occupy
23% of the dead, reportedly.
conditions in the emergency centers affect detrimentally on the elderly and
those less healthy: they have not only difficulties in sleeping but also they
are left prone to respiratory and circulatory diseases. A life is rescued from
the disaster, but later comes fatality.
earthquakes, many people left their houses to use their cars for living as they
feared that the buildings might collapse. This caused a number of deaths,
according to media reports. Anyway, people did not like emergency shelters.
conditions in evacuation centers
have an image of such a center: blue sheets, cardboard partitions and Onigiri
rice-balls. Comparing these conditions with those of foreign countries, you can
find a fact that the level here in the country is much lower than the world’s
Japan Medical Association announced in June ‘Manuals for Evacuation Centers
under Infection of the New Coronavirus’.
advises to open ‘as many centers as possible in addition to the designated
evacuation sites’, suggesting ‘using as well hotels, inns, apartment houses for
public workers and municipal houses’.
manual also requests local governments to cooperate with regional medical
associations. The most pressing task is to review the existing disaster plans
in a joint effort among relevant institutions and residents’ organizations in
order to evacuate inhabitants effectively and safely, coping right with calamities.
July, at the end of the month, the Mogami River, Yamagata Prefecture, a
northern region of the Honshu, overran, submerging the nearby 700 houses, but
no one was killed and missed. It was a consequence of cooperation between the
residents’ organizations and the municipal authorities, which had issued
evacuation instructions flawlessly at the right moments.
it is necessary to secure places for residents to take refuge in satisfaction
and safety and prepare for medical services. A close relation with local
medical associations is essential. What is the most crucial is to get ready to ‘protect
lives of people’.