SPECIAL vol.20 Preparedness for disasters cross border as well as within a district
by Voices from the Field Admin - Saturday, 11 July 2015, 11:01 AM

Preparedness for disasters both within and beyond district borders

In the disaster about 100 victims took refuge at the Shiomidai Minami community center but most of them were from the Shobuta-hama district, whose homes were washed away by the tsunami. Our evacuees from the Shiomidai Minami district were only about ten. I had wanted to make the community center an information center for the residents of the Shiomidai Minami district. Howeversince the community center was occupied with the evacuees from the Shobuta-hama district, the residents from the Shiomidai Minami district were not able to get together there. As a result it could not function as I had hoped.

The experience of the disaster taught me that the residents from both districts should build closer ties during ordinary times because they share the Shiomidai Minami community center as their designated evacuation shelter. The Shobuta-hama district has a lot of sites where housing construction has been banned since the tsunami and few of the residents have returned to live there. However there are still, about 20 households of the Shobuta-hama district which would evacuate to the Shiomida Minami district in case of a disaster. Such a situation had been expected because even at the time of the Chili Earthquake in 1960, the residents of Shobuta-hama district had evacuated to the Shiomida Minami district. Even at that time the residents of Shiomida Minami district were not able to use their community center because it was occupied by evacuees from Shobuta-hama district and some residents voiced that this situation should be improved. Also, if emergency stockpiles are prepared only for the Shiomidai Minami district, they will not be enough to provide for all the evacuees. Until now, emergency stockpiles as well as local events have been kept separate for the residents of each district. From now on I think both districts should accommodate differences and cooperate more on daily basis.

Note by an interpreter:

Shiomidai Mminami district is a newly developed housing site.

Shobuta-hama district is a traditional fishing village located along the coast. Both districts had hardly interacted with each other till the disaster.


Reported by Masataka Ohta (51)

Ward mayor of Shiomidai 2chome

University Hospital technician

Address at the time of disaster: Shiomidai Minami district

Current Address: same as above