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Socio-economic losses associated with theearthquake of magnitude 9 on March 11th,2011 off the Tohoku coast of Japan are pre-sented and discussed. These include pres-entation of building damage, casualty- andshelter needs disaggregated for the earth-quake and tsunami, but also the implicationsof the loss of essential utilities in Honshu’sproduction capacity, and consequences of the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant acci-dent. We trace the Tohoku catastrophe fromthe initial triggering earthquake through thecascading- and network phenomena of theTohoku event, and discuss the concept of cascading phenomena triggered by naturalhazards in society and the economy. Follow-ing the analysis of the Tohoku event, a sum-mary of the key interactions of three differenttypes of disasters which occurred in 2010 arepresented in comparison.
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Seite 22 Technikfolgenabschätzung – Theorie und Praxis 20. Jg., Heft 3, Dezember 2011
The March 2011 Japan
Analysis of Losses, Impacts, and Impli-
cations for the Understanding of Risks
Posed by Extreme Events
by Bijan Khazai, James E. Daniell and
Friedemann Wenzel, KIT
Socio-economic losses associated with the
earthquake of magnitude 9 on March 11th,
2011 off the Tohoku coast of Japan are pre-
sented and discussed. These include pres-
entation of building damage, casualty- and
shelter needs disaggregated for the earth-
quake and tsunami, but also the implications
of the loss of essential utilities in Honshu’s
production capacity, and consequences of
the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant acci-
dent. We trace the Tohoku catastrophe from
the initial triggering earthquake through the
cascading- and network phenomena of the
Tohoku event, and discuss the concept of
cascading phenomena triggered by natural
hazards in society and the economy. Follow-
ing the analysis of the Tohoku event, a sum-
mary of the key interactions of three different
types of disasters which occurred in 2010 are
presented in comparison.
1 Introduction
It is well accepted that catastrophes result from
natural disasters only when the society affected,
its infrastructure and institutions are too weak to
cope with and absorb the adverse impacts of an
event. Thus, we can talk about natural disasters,
but not about natural catastrophes. This view is
also reected in risk assessment, where not only
the physical elements of risk, but also the fra-
gilities and capacities of people, processes, serv-
ices, organizations, or systems affected must be
analyzed. This applies not only for all types and
scales of natural disasters, but also for risk as a
dynamic interaction between natural phenom-
ena, technological systems, and socio-economic
aspects. These interactions become particularly
obvious in the case of large-scale disasters, such
as the Japan Tohoku event.
In this paper, we trace the path to catastro-
phes through the complex interactions between
natural hazards, societal conditions, and the vul-
nerability of technical facilities on which the
functionality of societies are based. The recent
Tohoku earthquake of March 11th, 2011 and the
tsunami it induced led to worldwide economic
disorder and social consequences with political
impacts. We take the Tohoku event as a case his-
tory for which we analyze the losses, but also
show the complex network of interactions that
were manifested in this event.
Even though historic tsunamis and earth-
quakes (e.g., 869 Sanriku, 1896 Meiji-Sanriku
event) had in fact attained similar magnitudes
and runup heights in the same areas that were
affected by the Tohoku event (Hatori 1986), no
widely-accepted existing scenarios or models
had foreseen the occurrence of an event of Mw
9.0. If not a “Black-Swan” event (Taleb 2007),
the multi-risk and disaster-chain phenomenon
that was initiated in Japan on March 11th was
an unprecedented large-scale catastrophe that at
least could have been imagined. From the initial
triggering earthquake through the cascading-
and network phenomena of the Tohoku event,
we show how several factors within the social,
economic, technological, and environmental fab-
rics of Japanese society became highly relevant
in exacerbating the impacts of this event. Fol-
lowing the analysis of the Tohoku event, a brief
summary of the key interactions of three differ-
ent types of disasters which occurred in 2010
(the Haiti earthquake, the Russian wildres, and
the Pakistan oods) are presented in comparison.
Our aim is to show that the path to large-scale
disasters should be sought and found within the
key interactions between natural disaster, soci-
etal weakness, and the vulnerability of technical
facilities. Finally, we draw conclusions from our
observations and analysis with implications for
addressing extreme events.
2 Characteristics of the Tohoku Earthquake
The Tohoku earthquake and the tsunami of March
11th, 2011 was typical for large-scale disasters
with cascading expansion. Massive losses due to
the March-11th earthquake occurred as the result
Technikfolgenabschätzung – Theorie und Praxis 20. Jg., Heft 3, Dezember 2011 Seite 23
of a chain of impact of three causes: the disas-
trous earthquake, the tsunami it induced, and
the nuclear power plant incident. The magnitude
(Mw 9.0) of the earthquake off the Tohoku coast
of Japan initiated a tsunami with waves of up to
24 meters in height, which surged as much as 10
km inland, and devastated large parts of coast-
al Japan, particularly in the densely-populated
coastal city of Shinomaki. In addition to the tsu-
nami damage, the earthquake caused widespread
building damage, the collapse of the Funjinuma
irrigation dam in Sukagawa, widespread res,
and emergencies declared at the Fukushima-1
and -2 nuclear power plants.1
Building damage, human casualties, and
economic losses are disaggregated for the earth-
quake, the tsunami, and the nuclear power plant.
It should be noted that none of the results in dis-
aggregating the impacts of the Tohoku events
have been published elsewhere, and that the g-
ures shown here are based on extensive investi-
gation into the actual records and on statistical
analysis. In presenting the losses from Tohoku,
we also investigate a number of exacerbating
factors and interactions which led to this event’s
total impact being much greater than the sum of
its parts. We show that, while the losses from
the Tohoku earthquake – an event of rare (low
probability of occurrence) magnitude – are very
severe, it was the simultaneous impacts of the
earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear power
plant crisis, as well as the complex interactions
between several key characteristics of the soci-
ety affected and of its infrastructure which led to
unprecedented conditions that greatly impaired
the capacity of Japanese society to respond. The
following will review and summarize some of
the main characteristics of this event and critical
interactions between them.
2.1 Impact on Buildings
Over 1,000,000 buildings were damaged, de-
stroyed, or abandoned as a result of these three
combined disasters (see the additional gures in
the online version of this issue). No data on the
relative proportion of earthquake- and tsunami
damage has as yet been given by government
sources. Table 1 shows the distribution of dam-
age for coastal and non-coastal municipalities. It
should be noted that coastal municipalities are
not narrow strips, but generally extend far inland.
Thus, it can be assumed that the earthquake also
contributed to a large extent to the damage in the
coastal municipalities. To reconstruct the dam-
age that would be expected in the coastal mu-
nicipalities separate from that of the earthquake
alone, intensity-damage relationships from the
non-coastal municipalities were compared with
those of coastal municipalities, as nearly all
damage in inland municipalities must have been
Table 1: The relative building damage in coastal
municipalities vs. non-coastal munici-
palities (as of September 28th, 2011)
Buildings Destroyed Partially
Coastal Mu-
nicipalities 110,834 129,709 229,943
6,946 48,530 382,537
Total 117,780 178,239 612,480
Source: CATDAT Situation Report 41 (FDMA, Pre-
fectures, NPA etc.) (Daniell, Vervaeck 2011)
2.2 Impact on Key Infrastructure
Japan suffered serious disruptions to its essen-
tial utilities (water and energy) in the wake of
the earthquake. At least 1.9 million households
had no water supply, and the army had to be de-
ployed to provide basic essentials, including bot-
tled water, food, and blankets (Stedman 2011).
The earthquake and the tsunami severely dam-
aged power plants of the Tokyo Electric Power
Company (TEPCO), including the Fukushima-I
and -II nuclear facilities that serve metropolitan
Tokyo and the neighbouring Greater Tokyo in-
dustrial area. About 40 percent of the electricity
used in the Greater Tokyo area is supplied by nu-
clear power plants in the Niigata and Fukushima
prefectures. After the quake, TEPCO announced
a shortfall of 25 percent of the electricity it sup-
plied, and installed a rolling blackout in Tokyo
and vicinity. It is an aspect of the adaptive re-
Seite 24 Technikfolgenabschätzung – Theorie und Praxis 20. Jg., Heft 3, Dezember 2011
silience of Japanese society for coping with
such massive energy cuts by adopting measures
such as reducing commuter-train services, dim-
ming lighting in stores and public installations,
and turning off some elevators and escalators.
In most other developed-country settings, this
would be regarded as an unacceptable failure to
respond, and would have caused signicant po-
litical damage to the governments responsible.
The earthquake-, tsunami-, and nuclear-
plant problems also had devastating impacts on
Japan’s communications (cellular and landline)
networks. Two-thirds of Japan’s largest mobile
provider’s base stations in Northern Japan were
dead, and it took months to repair them. Had
it not been for Japan’s resilient internet infra-
structure, which not only sustained damage to
undersea cables and overland infrastructure, but
was able to cope with a 200 percent surge in
trafc in the 24 hours following the disaster, the
response would have been impeded even more
seriously (Gold 2011).
Internet connectivity was a key asset in the
wake of the earthquake, as the internet enabled
effective communication and information ex-
change via services such as Skype, Facebook,
Twitter and Mixi (the Japanese social media
site) despite overloaded and disrupted phone
networks. This allowed geographically-distant
people to contribute their unique resources and
collaborate with people unknown to them. In
addition, crowdsourcing technologies such as
Ushahidi were used to visualize the most severe-
ly-affected localities, which helped relief organi-
zations coordinate and prioritize their response
(Gao et al. 2011). The Japanese internet system
responded very differently from that seen in the
2006 Taiwan earthquake, when several broken
undersea cables left millions of users ofine, in
some cases for months.
Several characteristic geographic, demo-
graphic, and cultural factors in Japan signicant-
ly worsened the consequences from the loss of
key infrastructure after the Tohoku earthquake.
The aid and medical response in the aftermath
of the earthquake was complicated by the sheer
scale of devastation, widespread damage to sup-
ply routes, loss of power- and communications
networks, and concerns about radiation leaks
from the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plants.
Even if the Sendai region, with a population den-
sity of 300 persons per square kilometer, would
not be considered rural in most of the world, in
Japan, such areas are considered to be predomi-
nantly rural, and their relative isolation made the
transport of essential commodities (food, water,
and fuel, etc), aid materials and rescue teams
even more difcult. Even communities in the
Fukushima Prefecture, which are more readily
accessible than other prefectures because of their
proximity to the Tokyo metropolitan region, ra-
diation leaks prevented the transport of materials
and human resources.
The existing shortage of healthcare resourc-
es in rural areas was also exacerbated by the de-
struction of hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes,
and the loss of healthcare staff. In-patients in the
damaged hospitals had to be transferred to oth-
er hospitals. In some cases, this was extremely
difcult, as hospitals and nursing homes for the
elderly were located in the suburbs of the city,
or in small towns which were relatively isolated
from public transportation. The isolation of the
affected area led to slower recovery efforts when
compared to events such as the Great Hanshin-
Awaji earthquake of 1995, which occurred in one
of Japan’s largest cities. It should also be noted
that, while the Tohoku earthquake affected the
predominantly-rural Tohoku district, the loss of
power had widespread technological and socio-
economic ripple effects for urban communities
in northeast Japan and globally.
A further impact as deleterious as the
devastation of residential buildings and the
long-term loss of key infrastructure (utilities,
schools, hospitals) is population depletion due
to migration to cities after disasters. Many of
these people had been farmers and shermen.
Unlike urban residents, their lives are rooted in
their land and communities, with houses and
land inherited from their ancestors. The sudden
loss of their jobs, land, homes, and families is
catastrophic – socially, economically, and psy-
chologically. Thus, a substantial proportion of
survivors will leave the area and relocate, re-
sulting in an even greater underpopulation of
these rural areas. Japan’s rural areas have been
in decline for years, and many of the small
Technikfolgenabschätzung – Theorie und Praxis 20. Jg., Heft 3, Dezember 2011 Seite 25
coastal towns hit hardest by the tsunami had
seen an exodus of young people moving to cit-
ies for work (Muramatsu, Akiyama 2011).
The disaster will leave long-term impacts
on the agricultural economy and lifestyle of the
region. An emerging issue in the recovery and re-
construction phase is the possible abandonment
of village sites. The relocation efforts have so far
been sensitive to preserving the social-support
systems in earthquake-stricken communities,
and local governments have relocated whole
communities as intactly as possible (Muramatsu,
Akiyama 2011). Nevertheless, rebuilding the
completely-devastated waterfront communities
in innovative plans that remain familiar, and can
accommodate the largely elderly population re-
mains challenging and controversial. The event
also serves as a wake-up call to urban communi-
ties in Japan, especially in Tokyo, where tradi-
tional customs are waning, and the elderly may
face greater challenges.
2.3 Total Economic Impact
Reasonable estimates for direct economic losses
from the earthquake and tsunami have ranged
from 195 billion USD to 320 billion USD with
a best estimate of around $270–280 billion USD
accounting for completion and current prefectur-
al estimates. According to the Miyagi prefecture,
around 52 % of the direct loss was due to build-
ing loss. This does not include direct losses as-
sociated with the Fukushima incident (assumed
to be around $58–71 billion USD from TEPCO
estimates (Daniell et al. 2011a)). In terms of di-
rect economic losses, the Japanese cabinet ofce
estimated 28 % of direct losses in the four major
affected prefectures (Miyagi, Iwate, Fukushima
and Ibaraki), occurred inland. For the remain-
ing direct economic losses in coastal areas, it is
estimated that approximately between 58–75 %
resulted from the tsunami observing work of
Miyagi prefecture and other sources (Daniell et
al. 2011a). Thus, the following estimates of tsu-
nami, earthquake and powerplant losses results
from the direct loss estimates of the Japanese
Government and Prefectures as well as addition-
al CATDAT information.
Table 2 shows that around 112–145 bil-
lion USD of damage was caused by the tsuna-
mi, while 48–81 billion USD can be attributed
to the earthquake in coastal regions. This gives
approximately equal components of earthquake
(52 %) and tsunami loss (48 %) for the sum of
both inland and coastal areas. About two-thirds
of the total losses calculated by the cabinet of-
ce and prefectural reports are housing- or in-
frastructure-related. As yet, the monetary losses
associated with the displacement of 70,000 resi-
dents within the evacuation zones, as well as the
decommissioning of the Fukushima plant have
not been calculated other than estimates via
TEPCO and other sources.
Table 2: The estimated relative building damage
caused by the tsunami vs. the earthquake
In Billion
USD Earthquake Tsunami Powerplant
Direct Loss
Inland 77 0
Direct Loss
Coastal 48–81 112–145
Total Direct
(42 %)
(39 %)
(19 %)
Indirect Loss 69–132 64–113 51–91
Total Econo-
mic Loss
(41 %)
(36 %)
(23 %)
Source: Daniell et al. 2011a
There will also be many indirect losses as a re-
sult of the Tohoku earthquake, as can already be
seen on the example of the interruption of the
automotive industry’s production, and the pow-
er outages. The power shortage due to destruc-
tion of the electric-power stations and network
was assumed at the time to contribute to ripple
effects of up to 1 trillion JPY or about 12 bil-
lion USD. Kouno (2011) estimated direct losses
from power failures at 166.3 billion JPY and all
of the inter-industry indirect effects to add up to
1.5 trillion JPY.
The Tohoku region is the production center
of Japanese semiconductors, auto parts, elec-
tronic devices, and other components. Many
large-scale manufacturers of automobiles (e.g.,
Toyota, Nissan, and Honda), steel (e.g., Nippon
Steel), and chemical facilities (e.g., Mitsubishi
Seite 26 Technikfolgenabschätzung – Theorie und Praxis 20. Jg., Heft 3, Dezember 2011
Fig. 1: Proportion of fatalities from the Tohoku event from tsunami, earthquake, re, landslide, and
other causes
Source: Daniell, Vervaeck 2011
Kagagu) went off production, causing a decline
in global automobile production (Norio et al.
2011). The local industry supplies not only the
domestic Japanese demand for industrial prod-
ucts, but also those involved around the world
(e.g., 25 percent of the global supply of silicon
wafers came from two semiconductor manufac-
turers which stopped working after the event)
(Kusuda 2011). The interrupted parts- and mate-
rials-supply chain, together with the power out-
age, affected Japanese manufacturing severely,
and rippled around the world. The car industry,
which operates on the just-in-time principle with
a minimum of inventory stock, suffered from
the shortage of parts and components. Many
key component manufacturers were based in the
worst-hit region of Japan, which forced a slow-
down of manufacturing in Japan itself, as well as
overseas (Kusuda 2011).
2.4 Human Losses
The human losses incurred by the Tohoku event
were extremely severe. As of September 30th,
2011, 15,815 were counted dead and 3,966 miss-
ing (19,781 in total). It is unknown how many
victims may have died directly due to the earth-
quake, not counting tsunami losses. However,
autopsies from the rst 13,135 killed indicate
that the earthquake alone did not kill many peo-
ple (NPA 2011).
Figure 1 shows the distribution of fatali-
ties of the Tohoku event from different causes.
The total quake-related death count estimated for
Tohoku is currently as low as 230 (Daniell, Ver-
vaeck 2011), but the actual number has uncer-
tainties. This value corresponds quite well to the
133 non-tsunami-caused deaths that have been
recorded in the non-coastal areas. In compari-
son, the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake resulted
in 28,560 earthquake deaths, and the recent 1995
Kobe quake in 4,823 earthquake deaths.
However, in terms of tsunami deaths, the
2011 Tohoku event with 18,658 dead and miss-
ing is one of the most deadly events ever to hit
Japan. Among the highest death counts from his-
toric tsunamis are 31,000 in Tokaido 1498, any-
where from 5,000 to 32,000 in Hoei 1707, and
22,066 in Meiji-Sanriku 1896 (CATDAT 2011).
The maximum number of homeless and refu-
gees in shelters is hard to calculate, due to incom-
plete data in the rst few days. It was likely that
a total of around 620,000–800,000 people were
Technikfolgenabschätzung – Theorie und Praxis 20. Jg., Heft 3, Dezember 2011 Seite 27
Fig. 2: Estimated fatalities by age for the dead and missing
Source: Estimation based on NPA results from April 21st, 2011 as a date of reference
living outside of their homes on March 12th, but
data is lacking. With about 23 percent of Japan’s
127 million people older than 65 (Tanaka et al.
2009), Japan has the world’s highest proportion
of elderly in the world. The March-11th disaster
highlighted the current and emerging issues of
a “super-aging” society, especially the need for
community-based support systems. Age therefore
played a major role in the survival chances of
people escaping the tsunami; as people age, they
generally become less mobile. 77 percent of all
of the victims counted up to this point were older
than 50, and 46 percent of the victims (nearly
half) were over 70 years of age (Fig. 2).
The large elderly population presented a
particular challenge for rescue teams and sur-
vival; older adults were particularly vulnerable
to cold, inuenza, relocation, and chronic mental
and physical stress (Minami et al. 1997). Many
suffered under lack of access to medication and
treatment needed to control their chronic disor-
ders. As of July 24th, 2011, 570 people were re-
ported to have died due to stress and chronic dis-
ease as a result of the earthquake and the tsuna-
mi. In Japan, these are also included in the death
toll. Stress and chronic disease contributed to
over 90 % of the “earthquake-related deaths” in
populations aged 65 and over (Muramatsu, Aki-
yama 2011). The inclement weather in northeast
Japan further heightened the impact on shelter-
seeking populations, especially on the elderly.
Due to the lack of electricity and oil, evacuated
residents spent nights freezing in unheated shel-
ters. In addition to their injuries, many survivors
had to deal with pre-existing chronic diseases un-
der these adverse conditions.
2.5 Nuclear Power Plant Crisis
Fuel damage and substantial releases of radio-
activity into the environment by the damaged
Fukushima 1 nuclear power plants severely ex-
acerbated the disaster. Radiation levels in Tokyo
had reached 20 times the normal “background”
levels by March 15th, 2011. As could be expected
from a disaster of this magnitude, environmental
health hazards and associated risks extend across
a wide range of media, including contaminated
air, water, soil, food, and waste. Japan banned the
export of selected food products from the north-
east of the country, and many countries placed
restrictions on Japanese food imports, including
normally large importers such as China and Ko-
rea. It is likely that soils exposed to high radiation
will require reclamation, and long-term impacts
of the disaster on plants, animals, sheries, and
Seite 28 Technikfolgenabschätzung – Theorie und Praxis 20. Jg., Heft 3, Dezember 2011
Table 3: List of causes, direct and indirect impacts, and exacerbating factors in the Tohoku event
Causes Direct Impacts Indirect Impacts Exacerbating Factors
Tsunami; Nu-
clear power-
plant incident
Casualties and Fatalities; Buil-
ding damage;
Long-term damage to utilities;
Damage to transportation infra-
Evacuation and Displacement;
Radiation; Landslides
Uninhabitable Homes; Supply chains
destroyed; Local and global produc-
tion loss; Migration out of the area
affected, Banned food exports; Long-
term impact on agriculture and sh-
eries; Delay of relief and recovery;
Traumatized persons, anxiety and
health concern
Aging Society; Isolation of af-
fected areas; Shortage of health
Lack of political transparency;
Severe weather; Different
power circuit topology; Lack
of preparedness for nuclear
Source: Own compilation
forests will be assessed in the coming decade.
Furthermore, the nuclear power plant emergency
in Japan has resulted in a global reconsideration
of the safety of nuclear power.
In Fukushima, the impact of the tsunami
and of the earthquake was not as great as in other
places, and the real impact of the nuclear disaster
becomes apparent in the massive displacement
of people in the Fukushima prefecture. The total
impact of the radiation advisory in Fukushima
was the following: once all of the people had
been located, and those who had been evacuated
were counted, the total of the population who
ed to shelters and other prefectures was around
134,000 people, of which around 90,000–110,000
were evacuees of the Fukushima plant disaster,
and between 24,000 and 44,000 were probably
earthquake- and tsunami victims. Other inu-
ences causing displacement of the population af-
fected may have included the gas-, water-, and
power outages, landslides, and torrential rain. As
of September 28th, 2011, around 56,000 people
were living outside the prefecture of Fukushima,
and around 50,000 internally (of which 42,000
are from the nuclear-affected towns).
2.6 Causal Interactions
Natural and technical systems are involved in
complex social systems of highly developed
societies. The Tohoku earthquake was typical
of disasters with cascading expansion, and dy-
namic risk-assessment procedures should follow
from recent disaster experience that incorporates
dynamic interactions between natural hazards,
socio-economic factors, and technological vul-
nerabilities. In the case of Japan, the effects of
the cascading phenomena in the long-term loss
of electric power in large parts of Honshu, with
all of its consequences for the economy, and the
reverberations of the nuclear accident at Fuku-
shima 1 have critical impacts on the assessment
of direct and indirect risks from the event.
Causality mapping (also known by several
other names, such as Fault Tree Analysis, Event
Tree Analysis, and Failure Mode and Effects
Analysis), is an essential tool for dynamic risk
assessment (Hodgkinson, Clarkson 2005), as it
can be used to provide advice for anticipating po-
tential failures, their potential causes, and their
consequences. These methods are benecial for
improving understanding of the system, and for
providing guidance for locating critical points
for risk mitigation.
In accounting for all of the factors relevant
during the Tohoku disaster, the main initial
earthquake and both the tsunami and the nuclear
power plant incidents are depicted in Figure 3.
The direct and indirect interactions between the
various triggering events and their causes found
in the literature are shown. This method follows
the tradition of System Dynamics. The map also
depicts the concept of cascading phenomena and
exacerbating factors in society and the economy
triggered by the earthquake. Table 3 summarizes
the main direct and indirect impacts resulting
from the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear
power plant incident, as well as a set of factors
that intensied these impacts.
It should be noted that, while the earthquake
was the initial trigger, many of the direct and in-
direct impacts are themselves causes. For exam-
ple, damage to the transportation infrastructure,
worsened by the conditions in remote areas, led
Technikfolgenabschätzung – Theorie und Praxis 20. Jg., Heft 3, Dezember 2011 Seite 29
Fig. 3: Causal Map and direct/indirect impact chains of the Tohoku earthquake
Source: Own compilation
to hampered relief and recovery efforts. Long-
term indirect impacts on agriculture and sher-
ies, exacerbated by a lack of support for an aging
society, may lead to migration out of the affected
areas and population depletion. For a more com-
plete representation of the direct and causal inter-
actions, the map in Figure 3 depicts the disasters
and their impacts as nodes and arcs representing
the “causal concept” and “causal connections”
through the chain of different impact events.
3 Recent Major Catastrophes
In the following, we review very briey some of
the critical interactions which led to major catas-
trophes in 2010: the Haiti earthquake, the Rus-
sian wildres, and the Pakistan oods. The aim
is to reconstruct a pattern that has been analyzed
in-depth for the Tohoku earthquake, but which
is believed to be typical for extreme events of
many types: the complex interaction of natural
factors with societal structures and technical fa-
cilities. Some of the main loss parameters for
these events are shown in Table 4.
3.1 Russian Fires
The very dry summer 2010, with record tempera-
tures in Western Russia, led to widespread wild-
res. The ensuing heat wave and smog caused,
even without res, major crop failures and sig-
nicant burdens on the health system, as people
suffered from heat and smog. The most fright-
ening aspect of the res, however, consisted in
the potential nuclear threat when res raged near
Sarov, the site of nuclear research- and weapon-
production facilities which had been heavily pol-
luted during the Chernobyl nuclear accident in
1986. Fortunately, these fears did not material-
ize, and no major increase in radiation levels has
been reported. Nevertheless, this example again
shows the adverse interactions of natural disas-
ters (drought, re) with insufcient capacities
to respond (re prevention, re ghting) and to
reduce their adverse effects, with technological
facilities and circumstances (nuclear installa-
tions and contamination from a previous acci-
dent). Even if one assumes that climate change
is responsible for the most intensive heat wave
Seite 30 Technikfolgenabschätzung – Theorie und Praxis 20. Jg., Heft 3, Dezember 2011
Table 4: The main loss parameters in each of the four catastrophes analyzed
Tohoku 2011 Haiti 2010 Russia 2010 Pakistan 2010
Main Disaster Types Earthquake, Tsunami,
Nuclear Accident
Earthquake, Di-
Heatwave, Bush-
Flood, Food Shor-
Main Dates 11.03.2011– 12.01.2010– 15.06.–17.08.2010 21.07–08.10.2010
Deaths < 19,781 (15,815 dead,
3,966 missing)
15,000–55,760 1,781–1,985
Injuries >6,000 310,928 n/a 3,000
Homeless 400,000–700,000 866,142–1,500,000 7,000 6,000,000
People Affected 40,000,000 2,500,000 45,000,000 20,000,000
Buildings Destroyed/
118,000 78,000 2,900 1,890,000
Buildings Damaged 890,000 100,000 n/a unknown
Direct Economic Losses USD270-351bn USD8bn USD16.08bn USD9.7-30bn
Source: CATDAT 2011
Russia ever experienced, the threats it actually
posed to society resulted from its interaction with
societal shortcomings and dangerous technolo-
gies. The res near nuclear installations had the
potential to spread a regional disaster to a large
area, including neighbouring states, via radioac-
tive contamination.
3.2 The Haiti Earthquake
The Haiti earthquake of magnitude 7.0 on Janu-
ary 12th, 2010 was a shallow earthquake which
struck a very poor country, where 80 percent of
the people were living below the poverty line of
one USD per day. The immediate consequence
of the earthquake was a widespread collapse
of residential buildings, schools, hospitals, a
breakdown of infrastructure (harbors, airports,
communication, fresh- and waste water, power,
radio), but most important, many government
buildings collapsed. This almost complete loss
of institutional capacity led to signicant delays
in restoring functions and services, in forwarding
international help, and in distributing it quickly.
The lack of governance due to unstable politi-
cal conditions greatly hampered reconstruction.
Even after one year, many people lived in poor
shelters, without adequate sanitary conditions.
Consequently, a cholera epidemic spread ten
months after the earthquake, with a total of 6,000
deaths of nearly half a million people affected,
among which the elderly and the children were
the most vulnerable groups. This example shows
that even a moderate earthquake can cause an ex-
treme catastrophe if it affects an area with a pov-
erty-stricken population living in highly vulner-
able locations and buildings, with poor govern-
ance structures, and lacking in response capaci-
ties. These circumstances bring about new risks
– in this case, an epidemic, which again affected
the most vulnerable persons most severely.
3.3 The Pakistan Floods
The heavy monsoon rains in Northern Pakistan
beginning in late July 2010 caused enormous
oods in the Indus River basin, the worst in the
past 80 years. As a result, one-fth of Pakistan’s
total land area was submerged, affecting 20 mil-
lion people, mostly by destruction of property,
of key infrastructure (power, transportation, and
schools), and loss of livelihood. Floods sub-
merged vast areas of Pakistan’s most fertile cro-
pland in the Punjab, killed livestock, and washed
away massive amounts of grain, resulting in a
food crisis. This disaster hit Pakistan in a situ-
ation of poor governance and declining political
stability, due to ineffective leadership and cor-
ruption. Civil war led to unstable conditions in
the Northwest Frontier Province, and Taliban
insurgents tried to take advantage of the disas-
ter wherever government representatives were
absent, or corruption compromised trust in insti-
tutions. This example shows the interaction of a
Technikfolgenabschätzung – Theorie und Praxis 20. Jg., Heft 3, Dezember 2011 Seite 31
natural disaster (heavy precipitation and subse-
quent oods) with weak governance and a soci-
ety stricken by civil war. It caused immense loss-
es for the economy and future growth, growing
distrust in government institutions, and increased
societal instability, which can have a serious im-
pact on global politics, given the fact that Paki-
stan is a nuclear power.
4 Conclusions
By evaluating the examples of the catastrophes
discussed here, we can learn that two effects
characterize large-scale disasters. First, they
emerge as complex interaction patterns between
the natural hazard, societal conditions, and the
vulnerability of infrastructure and institutions
on which the functionality of societies is based.
These interactions can give rise to new risks, such
as epidemics or nuclear radiation, and can have
long-term consequences for the economy. Haiti
was struck by a cholera epidemic long after the
earthquake, the Russian wildres had signicant
potential to cause health risks due to exposure
to nuclear radiation, the oods in Pakistan led to
food shortages and to further erosion of political
stability in a region of high geopolitical impor-
tance, and the full consequences of Fukushima 1
in Japan are yet to be seen. While foreign aid has
brought vast quantities of food and aid to Haiti,
without rebuilding and reform of its institutions
and infrastructure devastated by the earthquake,
Haiti is a victim-of-poverty trap that condemns
its people to live unprotected in urban slums. In
afuent countries such as Japan, the economic
loss remains limited to a small percentage of the
GDP, but as the earthquake has struck it in a debt
crisis of the public nancial system, a down-
grading by ranking agencies causes long-term
losses and an increased debt-load for the state
and its citizens.
Second, within the interaction pattern, one
or a few circumstances become highly relevant,
and can worsen the disaster signicantly. Strik-
ing examples are the nuclear consequences of
the Japanese earthquake and (potentially) of the
Russian wildres. The collapse of the organiza-
tion of the UN peace-keeping force in Haiti pre-
vented deploying 6,500 soldiers familiar with the
country, who could have played a major role in
immediate response, have restored the function-
ality of airports and of major roads, and have as-
sured the safe distribution of international help.
There is a growing debate on understanding risks
as dynamic processes, because risks change with
time, and because hazards and/or exposure and
vulnerability are functions of time. This view re-
sults in striving for risk monitoring rather than
static risk assessment. Here, we add another as-
pect to the understanding of the dynamic dimen-
sion that – in our view characterizes several
recent catastrophes – the cascading processes
among the three key parameters of catastrophes:
natural phenomena, technological systems, so-
cio-economic and political functions.
Some of the implications for risk assess-
ment as a prerequisite for the mitigation of ex-
treme events are:
1. Risk analysis must consider the full complex-
ity of the interacting and cascading effects we
face when they emerge. This analysis cannot
be done exclusively with quantitative and
probabilistic methods, as some of the interac-
tions are difcult to model, and uncertainties
are not only high, but unknown.
2. The residual risks – what happens beyond
the regulatory safety measures – are not well
understood, neither component-wise (for in-
stance the residual risk to residential buildings
and life safety) nor for systems (lifelines), or
the entire complexity of potential interactions
and cascades.
3. Scenario methodologies and stress-testing for
extreme events may be a tool for exploring
the key cascades, interactions, and factors
of inuence that create losses and surprises.
In recent months, the method of stress tests
became popular for nancial institutions, in-
surance companies, nuclear power plants, etc.
It may become an adequate disaster-manage-
ment approach for extreme events, but it has
no scientic basis.
1) Both power plants consist of several reactors and
are situated at a distance of 12 kilometers.
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Systemic Risk in Global Finance
by Helmut Willke, Zeppelin University
The paper addresses the emergence of sys-
temic risk as a property of global nance. Part
1 describes two factors of the post-Bretton-
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Eatwell has singled out as pushing the pro-
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1 Introduction
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Dr. Bijan Khazai
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Geophysical Institute (GPI)
Hertzstraße 16, 76187 Karlsruhe
Phone: +49 (0) 7 21 / 6 08 - 4 46 24
« »
... although not limited to these factors, is based on characteristics such as wealth, gender, age, access to information, disability and health status etc. (Cardona et al. 2012 (Khazai et al. 2011;Norio et al. 2011). ...
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The study aimed to investigate the extent to which land-use planning in Stellenbosch, South Africa considers the fire-risk posed by petrol stations, and the implications for public safety, as well as preparedness for large fires or explosions. To achieve this, the study first identified the land-use types around petrol stations in Stellenbosch and determined the extent to which their locations comply with the international and national planning regulations. Petrol stations within a six-kilometer radius from Stellenbosch’s centre were used as study sites. Second, the study examined the risk of fires/explosions at petrol stations. Third, the study investigated Stellenbosch Municipality’s institutional preparedness to respond in an event of a fire/explosion at a petrol station. These results suggest that the siting of petrol stations does not comply with the international and national good practices, thus exposing the surrounding developments to fires and explosions. The results also suggest that land-use planning does not consider hazards created by petrol stations. In addition, while observation at petrol stations suggests the potential for major fires, Stellenbosch Municipality’s preparedness to respond to petrol station fires appears low, due to the prioritisation of more frequent events.
... An additional 35,466 buildings were in the towns and cities within the exclusion zone of the Fukushima I and II nuclear sites. The best estimate of damage to buildings from Daniell and Vervaeck (2011) and then Khazai et al. (2011) from each of the three events was the earthquake (49%), tsunami (39%), and nuclear disaster (12%). With total direct losses, this reduced to earthquake (44%), tsunami (38%), and nuclear disaster (18%). ...
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The number of earthquakes with high damage and high losses has been limited to around 100 events since 1900. Looking at historical losses from 1900 onwards, we see that around 100 key earthquakes (or around 1% of damaging earthquakes) have caused around 93% of losses. What is indeed interesting about this statistic is that within these events, secondary effects have played a major role, causing around 40% of economic losses and fatalities as compared to shaking effects. Disaggregation of secondary effect economic losses and fatalities demonstrating the relative influence of historical losses from direct earthquake shaking in comparison to tsunami, fire, landslides, liquefaction, fault rupture and other type losses is important if we are to understand the key causes post-earthquake. The trends and major event impacts of secondary effects are explored in terms of their historic impact as well as looking to improved ways to disaggregate them through two case studies of the Tohoku 2011 event for earthquake, tsunami, liquefaction, fire and the nuclear impact; as well as the Chilean 1960 earthquake and tsunami event.
... Direct damages were estimated at $211 billion (Kajitani et al., 2013) making it one of the largest disasters on record (CRED, 2011). The earthquake hit the home of the automobile and semiconductor manufacturing industries, destroying not only factories but also disrupting the supply of raw materials, leading to a suspension of the workflow in many large-scale automobile manufacturers, such as Toyota, Nissan, and Honda (Khazai and Daniell, 2011). Japan's manufacturing sector faced an additional challenge due to power shortages, resulting in disruption and temporary closings of manufacturing plants, even those that were not directly damaged by the earthquake (Kachi and Takahashi, 2011). ...
This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the impacts of Japan’s 2011 earthquake on 19 stock market sector returns in Japan and its trading partners both in the short and long run. Using an event study methodology, we find that the impact of this event was not limited to Japan or industries directly hit by the earthquake. Our short-run analysis indicates that all sector indices in Japan and many in its trading partners were affected by the earthquake. The direction of the impact on trading partners, however, was not the same for all sectors; while the earthquake adversely affected the majority of the sectors analyzed, some sectors benefited. Further, we find that the magnitude of the abnormal returns did not systematically vary across trading partners according to their shares in Japan’s trade flow. The long-run analysis reveals how the consequences of the earthquake unfolded beyond the event date.
... Consequently, having a good estimation of the population that needs public shelter is essential for effective disaster response decision-making. Findings from various earthquake events in the past [Khazai et al., 2011] suggest that the decision to leave home and seek public shelter is influenced by the impact to the physical infrastructure (built environment, roadway networks, water, electricity, gas infrastructure, etc.) as well as the socio-economic and demographic characteristics. Wright et al. [2010] divided factors that contribute to decision making for evacuation into two main groups: one related directly to the impact of the earthquake shaking to the physical behaviour of housing and infrastructure and the resulting levels of damage and the second related to socio-economic, demographic and individual characteristics, which are less tangible, but equally important. ...
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The assessment of shelter needs of displaced people in the aftermath of major earthquake events is one the main challenges that emergency responders currently have to face. Based on the scale of the disaster, the short-term shelter demand can turn into a temporary housing need for displaced population, which is a local government responsibility. The study presented in this paper is focused on a critical review of currently available methodologies and corresponding software packages that were developed specifically for estimating the number of displaced people and those who will most likely seek public sheltering and will need temporary housing. The main features and shortcomings of such tools are highlighted and interpreted with a view to future improvement and application in the disaster management field. Two software tools, ERGO-EQ and HAZUS-MH, have been identified as more exhaustive in considering all the different variables involved in the shelter needs estimation. For this reason, this study also includes a full application of those two software tools to a real case study. Specifically, the modelling of the February 22nd, 2011 Christchurch earthquake is presented, in which hazard, vulnerability and exposure (both physical and social) were characterized over a specific area of Christchurch urban area as input to the aforementioned software tools. The employed tools yielded different results in terms of dislocated people and shelter needs estimates, for which a brief discussion is presented on possible ways to improve and to better reflect the local conditions, in order to produce more realistic outputs.
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Building back better-based urban planning is an integral part of efforts to increase urban resilience. Therefore, urban physical growth needs to be monitored to prevent built-up areas from expanding into hazard zones. This study analyzed the dynamics of urban physical growth and its driving forces in tsunami-affected areas of Banda Aceh after the 2004 tsunami. Built-up areas were extracted from Landsat images. The annual growth rate equation was used to estimate the growth characteristics in the tsunami-affected and safe areas. In-depth interviews and extensive literature reviews were also conducted to identify the determinant factors of urban redevelopment in tsunami-affected areas. Results showed that the annual growth rate was high in the areas during the disaster recovery period (2005–2009). Nevertheless, urban physical growth dominated in the safe areas during 2009–2019. The study also identified several driving forces of urban physical growth in the hazard zones: (1) population growth, (2) spatial planning, (3) distance to old city center, (4) land ownership and prices, and (5) socio-economic factors. This study provided new insights for urban planners to reduce disaster risk in urban areas.
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Earthquakes, large or even moderate, are often followed by secondary phenomena, such as landslides, tsunamis, fires and technological disasters, leading to cascading effects that may, in turn, cause severe repercussions. Before, during and after the occurrence of these events, risk communication, currently evolved to codified legislation, is a crucial factor. Policy selection in the present study is approached by the application of the risk game tree and its formation. The events studied here in view of policy making have occurred both in the historical and the instrumental era, to account for different level of exposure and anthropogenic hazards, in Greece (1894 Atlanti, 1953 Kefallinia series, 2003 and 2015 Lefkas), Italy (1976 Friuli), Japan (2011 Tōhoku) and Slovenia (1917 Brežice). In all case studies the whole disaster management cycle is examined, i.e. mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Disaggregation of earthquake-related direct and cascading effects, as well as risk communication are taken into account and ethical challenges are posed both to scientists and policy makers.
Kota Banda Aceh merupakan daerah yang paling terdampak oleh Tsunami Samudra Hindia 2004. Sebagian besar area terbangun rusak dan hancur, terutama di kawasan pesisir. Setelah peristiwa itu terjadi, pemulihan perkotaan segera dilakukan dengan salah satu fokus utama pada pembangunan fisik. Oleh karena itu, pertumbuhan fisik perkotaan setelah bencana perlu dipantau untuk mencapai keberlanjutan perkotaan. Penelitian ini dilakukan di kawasan perkotaan Banda Aceh dan bertujuan untuk: (1) mengestimasi intensitas dan menganalisis arah pertumbuhan fisik perkotaan; (2) mengidentifikasi pola dan proses pertumbuhan fisik perkotaan; dan (3) mengidentifikasi faktor yang memengaruhi pertumbuhan fisik perkotaan. Periode analisis yang digunakan adalah masa rehabilitasi-rekonstruksi (2005-2009) dan setelah masa rehabilitasi-rekonstruksi (2009-2019). Area terbangun diekstraksi dari citra Landsat dengan menggunakan metode supervised classification with maximum likelihood. Karakteristik pertumbuhan fisik perkotaan dianalisis dengan memanfaatkan sistem informasi geografis. Sementara itu, faktor pertumbuhan dianalisis dari hasil wawancara mendalam dan tinjauan literatur. Teknik analisis data dilakukan dengan menggunakan statistik deskriptif untuk penelitian kuantitatif dan deskriptif kualitatif untuk penelitian kualitatif. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa terdapat perbedaan karakteristik pertumbuhan fisik perkotaan di kawasan perkotaan Banda Aceh antara 2005-2009 dan 2009-2019. Intensitas pertumbuhan pada periode awal lebih tinggi dibandingkan dengan periode akhir karena pemulihan bencana. Pertumbuhan paling intensif pada 2005-2009 terjadi di wilayah terdampak tsunami, terutama di arah barat hingga utara dan berdekatan dengan pusat kota. Pertumbuhan pada periode selanjutnya mulai lebih intensif di arah timur laut hingga selatan dan semakin menjauh dari pusat kota. Pola pertumbuhan dominan pada kedua periode adalah edge-expansion. Namun, perubahan pola dominan dapat terdeteksi pada skala mikro sekaligus menunjukkan adanya proses difusi-koalesensi. Sebagai tambahan, pertumbuhan fisik perkotaan di wilayah ini dipengaruhi oleh faktor-faktor yang kompleks, seperti kondisi geofisik, peraturan tata ruang, aksesibilitas, kependudukan, lahan, serta faktor sosial ekonomi. Hasil ini diharapkan menjadi pertimbangan bagi perencana perkotaan untuk mewujudkan building back better.
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在聯合國國際減災辦公室及政府間氣候變遷小組的風險分析架構上,本研究將地震風險視為地震危害度 (hazard)、人口與建物暴露性 (exposure) 與脆弱性(vulnerability) 三項風險 (risk) 因素的總體函數。我們以集集地震為分析案例,整合危害度、暴露性與脆弱性三類因素對房屋倒塌與人員死亡進行兩步驟的因果分析,以Poisson迴歸模型進行估計。結果顯示,地震危害度、人口與建物暴露性與社會經濟脆弱性對集合式住宅倒塌棟數與全倒戶數皆有影響,即使在控制集合式住宅倒塌棟數與房屋全倒戶數之後,前述三項風險因素對地震死亡人數仍具統計顯著效應。其中地震的災害變量與人口建物暴露變量的效果最顯著,震動強度、斷層經過與集合式住宅倒塌三者加上其交互作用,是造成集集地震死亡的首要因素。相較之下社會脆弱性變量 (性別比、幼年人口、家戶所得、所得標準差) 雖然較弱但仍有顯著效應,會擴大集合式住宅棟數、全倒戶數與死亡人數。在學術上,本研究突顯跨領域理論與數據整合對分析與理解地震災難風險的重要性。在實務上,本研究建議應強化都市規劃、區域計畫、建築法規與社會扶助等機制,以降低對地震災害的暴險率與社會脆弱性。 Based on the disaster risk framework proposed by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this study defines seismic risk as a function of seismic hazard, population-building exposure and vulnerability. The Chi-Chi, Taiwan, earthquake was used as a case study of a two-step cause and effect (housing damage and fatalities) analysis. Data (mostly at village scale) from various governmental and academic sources, including data for demographics, housing tax, family income tax, seismology, housing damage, and fatality, were used to construct four statistical models to examine the physical and social determinants underlying the seismic risk. The Poisson regression model was used to estimate the impacts of these factors on housing collapses and fatalities. The regression models showed that all factors significantly affected housing collapseand fatality. Seismic hazard and population-building exposure are the most key factors. Earthquake intensity, passage of the Chelungpu Fault, collapse of condominium and their intersectional effects explained most earthquake fatalities. Compared with those factors, social vulnerability variables (gender-female, young population, low family income, and income inequality) have a weaker influence; however these variables have a significant marginal effect on enlarging the fatalities. The contribution of this study is the use of an interdisciplinary approach that integrates theories and data across seismology, geology, geography and sociology to enrich seismic risk study. Regarding social implications, this study demonstrates the important role of national institutions, such as urban planning, regional planning, building regulation, and social welfare mechanisms, in minimizing exposure and social vulnerability to seismic risk.
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The combination of population ageing and climate change is creating a new threat for many Australian coastal hamlets vulnerable to the impact of tropical cyclones. Increasingly, elderly people are facing future tropical cyclones alone, without support from family and friends, relying instead on already stretched government and authority resources, despite Emergency Management Australia's (EMA) policy expectation that all citizens must be self-reliant. This research explored the future self-reliance and disaster resilience of coastal hamlets through the lens of the Social Cognitive Theory by outlining the findings from focus groups, personal interviews and questionnaires involving participants over 65 years of age, residing in townships previously impacted by Cyclone Larry (in 2006) and Cyclone Yasi (in 2011). Participants recalled a lack of social support following the cyclones, a fear of evacuating their homes, as well as the trauma of recovering from such intense destruction. Respondents were also concerned about the physical, cognitive and financial impacts of ageing on their ability to prepare and recover from future cyclones, frightened that experiences from the past might be repeated in the future, contributing to feelings of isolation, frustration and the loss of community, and a rethinking of ageing in the place of their choice. These considerations impact on the dependence EMA has that all citizens will remain self-reliant when faced with a natural hazard and should be considered when making future policy decisions in relation to more isolated coastal townships.
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This paper discusses the Damage Index Function available to minute damage estimation of each individual building. The derived functions for the structural types of wood frame and reinforced concrete are expressed the three-dimensional nomogram of seismic input motions, load-carrying capacity of individual building, and damage index representing the estimated damage degree of building. We can apply the 3D nomogram to utilize for various kinds of seismic risk management.
Conference Paper
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The 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and resulting powerplant incident has caused the highest economic loss in history from any earthquake (over $300 billion USD). In addition, it has caused the highest death toll from an earthquake in any developed country (HDI>0.8) by approximately 3 times. From 2 minutes after the earthquake, has followed the socio-economic effects of the earthquake from Japanese and international sources with additional historical input from the CATDAT Damaging Earthquakes Database. In addition, regular updates of the expected social (deaths, injuries, homeless) and economic loss (insured and total) from the corresponding author's worldwide rapid earthquake loss estimation software were given based on the ground shaking and tsunami effects, and then later refined to account for more complex effects. In this paper, this earthquake and resulting tsunami, the rapid earthquake loss estimation procedures and a comparison with other rapid loss packages are explained. The rapid loss estimation package uses individual country statistics rather than regionalised methodologies. As part of this study for use in the software, spatio-temporal country-by-country urban-rural building inventories, seismic code and building practice factor indices, global socio-economic indicators, population, HDI, GDP, wage, CPI and normalisation strategies have been created globally from 1900-2011.
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The global CATDAT damaging earthquakes and secondary effects (tsunami, fire, landslides, liquefaction and fault rupture) database was developed to validate, remove discrepancies, and expand greatly upon existing global databases; and to better understand the trends in vulnerability, exposure, and possible future impacts of such historic earthquakes. Lack of consistency and errors in other earthquake loss databases frequently cited and used in analyses was a major shortcoming in the view of the authors which needed to be improved upon. Over 17 000 sources of information have been utilised, primarily in the last few years, to present data from over 12 200 damaging earthquakes historically, with over 7000 earthquakes since 1900 examined and validated before insertion into the database. Each validated earthquake includes seismological information, building damage, ranges of social losses to account for varying sources (deaths, injuries, homeless, and affected), and economic losses (direct, indirect, aid, and insured). Globally, a slightly increasing trend in economic damage due to earthquakes is not consistent with the greatly increasing exposure. The 1923 Great Kanto ($214 billion USD damage; 2011 HNDECI-adjusted dollars) compared to the 2011 Tohoku (>$300 billion USD at time of writing), 2008 Sichuan and 1995 Kobe earthquakes show the increasing concern for economic loss in urban areas as the trend should be expected to increase. Many economic and social loss values not reported in existing databases have been collected. Historical GDP (Gross Domestic Product), exchange rate, wage information, population, HDI (Human Development Index), and insurance information have been collected globally to form comparisons. This catalogue is the largest known cross-checked global historic damaging earthquake database and should have far-reaching consequences for earthquake loss estimation, socio-economic analysis, and the global reinsurance field.
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The extra vulnerability of industrializing countries to environmental problems and industrial accidents cannot be understood or solved by a ‘normal’ scientific analysis. Aspects of the social and institutional context must be included, through analyses based on post-normal science. The standard two-dimensional classification of PNS is modified to have axes ‘social ‘and institutional vulnerabilities’ and ‘complexity of technological hazards’. The analysis is mainly applied to the case of the relatively rare accidents with catastrophic potential. In these, the deaths per accident in India, Mexico and Brazil are much greater than in the industrialized countries. This discrepancy arises partly from location of such plants near residential communities for marginalized workers and their families. Other socio-political factors are relevant, as the role of these countries in the global production system, the enforcement of safety and planning laws, quality of housing, and lifestyle of residents. Reducing the vulnerability of industrializing countries will therefore require major social policies and a comprehension of the limits of the normal scientific and economic approaches to such problems.
This article proposes a qualitative approach for understanding occupational and environmental risks in countries with high-social vulnerabilities. We use waste burning in cement kilns as a qualitative case study in order to illustrate how social (population and institutional) vulnerabilities influence the context of risk situations and events in a developing country such as Brazil. The vulnerability analysis was based on the reconstitution of the trajectory of this risk problem in a Brazilian State and its impacts, which mobilised several social and institutional actors. The methodology used interviews with different actors and an analysis of the documents, including mostly technical reports from various participating institutions. One objective of contextualising risk problems and vulnerabilities is to encourage professionals, decision-makers, and other social actors to discuss safety and health promotion in their different dimensions and to develop new strategies for intersectorial and participatory public policies. This point is important not only for developing countries even in more developed countries where legislation, social protection, and labour relations are more organised. We suggest that the need for knowledge integration, participation by all stakeholders, and empowerment of vulnerable groups exposed to risks are important principles to promote safety and health through the reduction of vulnerabilities.
Japan has the highest proportion of older adults in the world. Aging is not only an immediate personal issue but also a salient factor in crucial public policies, such as pensions, health, and long-term care. The Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant disaster of March 2011 has highlighted current and emerging issues of a "super-aging" society, especially the need for community-based support systems. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Prevention of Psychiatric Illness in the Elderly
  • N N Taleb
  • H Kazui
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Taleb, N.N., 2007: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. London Tanaka. T.; Kazui, H.; Sadik, G. et al., 2009: Prevention of Psychiatric Illness in the Elderly. In: Psychogeriatrics 9 (2009), pp. 111–115
Economic Implications of Earthquake In: Barclays Capital
Economic Implications of Earthquake. In: Barclays Capital, Japan Economic Research, March 15, 2011
Bijan Khazai Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) Geophysical Institute (GPI) Hertzstraße 16
  • Dr
Dr. Bijan Khazai Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) Geophysical Institute (GPI) Hertzstraße 16, 76187 Karlsruhe Phone: +49 (0) 7 21 / 6 08 -4 46 24