Vulnerability Seen through Schools during the Reconstruction Stage in Sanriku Coast, Japan

Authors: Tomoko Yamazaki*, Iwate University
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Human-Environment Geography, Asia
Keywords: disaster, vulnerability, school, reconstruction stage
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Virginia A, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


More than seven years have passed since the great tsunamis hit Sanriku Coast, Japan in 2011. As for response to disasters, four crucial dimensions are identified; disaster mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster response, and post-disaster recovery. Karan (2012) pointed out “Among the four categories, the post-disaster recovery stage particularly the reconstruction of areas damaged by the disaster has received less attention than other stages, such as immediate relief efforts.” This paper aims to discuss the problems the tsunami-attacked areas in Sanriku Coast are facing at this reconstruction stage, shedding light on the situation of schools. At the time when immediate relief efforts were done, school teachers believed that there should be a school in order that people could come back to the community, and they made tremendous efforts. However, now the schools are being merged or closed down because the population, especially younger generation, is moving out of the areas. If there is no school, people will not come back. This tendency will heighten the risk. A community vulnerable to a natural disaster faces constant risks of extinction. This paper shows the data of the schools in the tsunami-damaged area in Sanriku Coast and interviews school teachers, administrators, and parents and examines the vulnerability that the tsunami-damaged areas have faced throughout the reconstruction stage.

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