SPECIAL vol.23 Evacuation Behavior
by Voices from the Field Admin - Sunday, 4 October 2015, 08:03 PM
Evacuation behavior refers to the time taken to make decisions about evacuation, as well as to specific evacuation actions, such as fleeing to a higher place. Anyway the residents in Shichigahama had never been actually attacked by such a huge tsunami and the scale of this event was far beyond any expectation. At first most of the residents just observed the situation. Then some of them started to evacuate because they realized that such a long and huge earthquake would bring about big trouble. The brave and critical actions of those in positions of responsibility, especially a community head, town councilors and firefighters, resulted in protecting the lives of many residents. The families with disabled or elderly members desperately evacuated, in spite of all the confusion and difficulties, which were beyond description. However it was regrettable that in Shichigahama the confirmed death toll rose to 105 (and 2 missing). Our sincere condolence goes out to them. Most of them died of drowning but if they might have lost their lives from neglect of safety precautions or underestimation of the tsunami’s force, or if they had died while helping others, we must make sure to learn lessons from their deaths. We are destined to face another gigantic disaster and we should prepare for it. In order not to repeat the tragedy we must deeply engrave in our minds how to improve both our judgements and our actions to evacuate.