Tsunami Disasters and the Countermeasures in Japan, 20th Century

 

 

Date

Name

Human Loss/Problems

Countermeasures

 

3 March 1933

 

Showa-Sanriku Earthquake Tsunami

  •  

     

  • Casualties 3,064missing 1,542 inclusive

     

     

  • Terrible damage in Sanriku Coastal Area

 

  •  

     

  • Fires in Ohunato, Taro and Kamaishi

  •  

     

  • “Instructions for Tsunami Disaster Prevention” made in 1933

 

  •  

     

  • Resettlement to higher locations (Yoshihama, Tanohama and Ryori in Iwate Prefecture, Aikawa in Miyagi Prefecture) successful

 

  •  

     

  • Construction of sea wall in Taro and Yoshihama.

     

  • Tsunami control forest, revetment and seawall

 

  •  

     

  • Designation of tsunami prevention areas and evacuation roads

     

  • Tsunami warnings, evacuation from tsunamis

 

  •  

     

  • Commemorative activities

 

April 1941

 

 

  •  

     

  • Establishment of Tsunami warning organization by Sendai District branch of Meteorological Agency for the Sanriku Coastal Areas

 

7 December 1944

 

To-Nankai Earthquake Tsunami

  •  

     

  • Casualties 1,251

 

 

21 December 1946

 

Nankai Earthquake Tsunami

  •  

     

  • Casualties 1,330

 

  •  

     

  • Sea wall in Hiro, Wakayama Prefecture made after the 1854 Ansei Earthquake Tsunami was effective for the first time in 90 years.

 

 

4 March 1952

 

Tokachioki Earthquake Tsunami

  •  

     

  • Tsunami warning tentatively issued before the official use and it was effective.

 

 

 

 

 

1 April 1952

 

 

  •  

     

  • Tsunami Forecasting System started by the Japan Meteorological Agency

 

 

 

24 May 1960

 

Chile Earthquake Tsunami

  •  

     

  • Casualties 142

 

  •  

     

  • Tsunami warning not issued.

 

  •  

     

  • Affected area covers the Japanese Archipelago from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

 

 

Establishment of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) in Hawaii

 

  •  

     

  • Construction of Tsunami bay-mouth Breakwater (Ohunato)

 

  •  

     

  • Construction of Tsunami/High Tide sea wall (all coastal areas of Japan)

 

  •  

     

  • Tsunami water gate was constructed for the first time.

 

16 June 1964

 

Niigata Earthquake Tsunami

  •  

     

  • Casualties 26

 

  •  

     

  • Damage of oil tanks, spread of oil by tsunami and fires followed.

 

  •  

     

  • Large-scale damages from liquefaction also occurred.

 

 

16 May 1968

 

Tokachioki Earthquake Tsunami

  •  

     

  • Casualties 52 (most deaths by the earthquake)

 

  •  

     

  • Sea wall prevented tsunami attacks well.

 

 

August 1976

 

 

 

  •  

     

  • Possibility of Tokai Earthquake was publicized.

 

  •  

     

  • Policy change was made from the countermeasures against the past tsunamis to expected tsunamis in the future

 

1977

 

 

  •  

     

  • Tsunami inundation map was made in Shizuoka Prefecture for the first time.

 

April 1979.4

 

 

  •  

     

  • The Deep-Ocean Tsunami Observation System was started to operate in Omaezakioki, Shizuoka and its was integrated into the national seismic observation

 

March 1983

 

 

  •  

     

  • “Guideline for Comprehensive Disaster Prevention Countermeasures in Tsunami-prone areas” was made.

 

  •  

     

  • The largest tsunami in the past 200 years was adopted as the Design Tsunami.

 

  •  

     

  • Integration of disaster prevention facilities, local plans and countermeasures

 

  •  

     

  • The idea was accepted that design tsunamis may cross over disaster prevention facilities.

 

1983.5.26

 

Nihonkai-chubu (Japan sea ) Earthquake Tsunami

  •  

     

  • Casualties 104

 

  •  

     

  • The first wave came after 7 minutes after the earthquake.

 

  •  

     

  • Delay of Tsunami warning by 13-15 minutes

 

  •  

     

  • Reconsideration of Tsunami education

 

  •  

     

  • Soliton fission was confirmed in the nearby waters for the first time.

 

  •  

     

  • Tetrapods were displaced.

 

  •  

     

  • Problems of filtered data in tidal station for tsunamis

 

  •  

     

  • Anglers lost their lives.

  •  

     

  • Lead time for tsunami warning was shortened by the introduction of new tsunami forecasting system.

 

1984.7

 

 

  •  

     

  • The Tsunami Museum was opened in Karakuwa town, Miyagi Prefecture.

 

1993.7.12

 

Hokkaido-Nanseioki Earthquake Tsunami

  •  

     

  • Casualties 202

 

  •  

     

  • Delay of tsunami warning by 5 minutes

 

  •  

     

  • Tsunami waves overflowed sea walls.

 

  •  

     

  • Fires occurred in residential area.

 

  •  

     

  • Delay in communication

 

 

4 government ministries/agencies started joint meeting for tsunami disaster prevention.

 

1997.3

 

 

  •  

     

  • “Guidance for Tsunami Countermeasures in Disaster Prevention Local Plan” was made.

     

  • Adoption of Design tsunami concept from the largest earthquake tsunami in the past and for tsunami-free areas (a tsunami caused by the largest scale earthquake imaginable to the best expert knowledge

     

  • Anti-earthquake/tsunami reinforcement and maintenance of Tsunami disaster prevention facilities

     

  • Land use planning, zoning and betterment for safety

     

  • Disaster prevention countermeasures (organizations, forecasting, communication, evacuations, awareness, training and response)

     

  • “Tsunami Disaster Forecasting Manual” was made for numerical analysis.

 

1999.4.1

 

 

  •  

     

  • JMA started Quantitative Tsunami Forecasting System