On 11 Mar 2011, a massive tsunami was triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in northeast Japan, causing widespread destruction. The tsunami was up to 30 meters high and inundated 433,000 square kilometers of land. 492,000 people were evacuated, 11,600 were killed and 16,450 were reported missing. 17,000 homes and buildings were destroyed and 138,000 damaged. (OCHA, 1 Apr 2011)
The earthquake triggered an extremely severe nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that ultimately emitted an enormous amount of radioactive material into the environment (Government of Japan, 5 Jul 2012).
Appeals & Funding
Soon after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the Tohoku area in Japan in 2011, many of its citizens were forced to leave their homes and into temporary housing. The thought of leaving familiar surrounds for at least five years resulted in many of them feeling isolated, lonely and stressed.
To help lift spirits and bring some much needed relief and light entertainment to those relocated, the Australia-Japan Foundation and members of the local Japanese Board of Education brainstormed on how to use the 40,000 books left behind in the damaged local library.
Fukushima Global Communication Programme Working Paper Series Number 13, December 2015
11 March 2016 marks five years since the complex disaster created by a 9.0 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation leaks from power plants in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture devastated communities across the Tohoku region of Japan and displaced some 470,000 people from their homes.
Guest blogger Reiko Hasegawa from SciencesPo in Paris, shares her expert insights on the ongoing struggles faced by people from the radiation contaminated areas who are still displaced today.
By Hler Gudjonsson, IFRC
Mrs. Toshiko Yamada is one of the many devoted Japanese Red Cross Society volunteers who regularly visit residents of the temporary housing units in Fukushima. “My main task is to care for those who are already over 80 years old and living alone, to see if they are alright, and to cheer them up with small gifts,” the 81-year-old said. Together with other volunteers, she also takes part in cleaning the areas surrounding the units and planting flowers there.
Humanitarian crises are not often associated with developed countries. However, nature does not discriminate between developed and developing countries. The Great East Japan earthquake, which struck Fukushima on 11 March 2011, is proof that even in a disaster-prepared country such as Japan, nature can still cause massive destruction and threaten people’s lives and dignity.
11 March 2016, TOKYO – The head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Mr. Robert Glasser, today attended the 5th anniversary memorial service for those who lost their lives in the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011.
Mr. Glasser said: “On this solemn occasion I would like to extend the sympathies of the UN Secretary-General and those of the worldwide disaster risk reduction community to the bereaved and those who are still unable to return to their homes as a result of the events of March 11, 2011.
[To be delivered by Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Robert Glasser]
On this solemn day of remembrance, I would like once again to extend my condolences, and those of the whole United Nations system, to the people of Japan and especially to those who lost loved ones in the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on 11 March, 2011.
By Chie Ishihara and Yukiko Izutani, Japanese Red Cross Society
When the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami struck on 11 March 2011, more than 470,000 people, many from Iwate prefecture in northeast Japan, were forced to leave their homes and resettle in temporary housing settlements. Today, five years on, thousands are still unable to return to their places of origin and remain dependent on assistance provided by the government and the Red Cross.
10 March, 2016: Tokyo / Geneva. Five years on from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan’s northeast coastline on March 11, 2011, thousands of displaced families and elderly people are still unable to return home and are in need of support from humanitarian organisations such as the Red Cross.
Singapore, 2 March 2016 – At the launch of its 5th anniversary Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami photo exhibition today, the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) announced the concluding disbursement of the S$35.7M Japan Disaster Fund to six rehabilitation projects worth S$4M (~300 million yen), targeted at education, childcare and public welfare (details in Annex A).
Glide no. EQ-2011-000028-JPN
Period covered by this report: 11 March 2011 – 31 March 2015
Four years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Tsunami of 11 March 2011, there are still about 220,000 people who are displaced from their homes, living in temporary housing, apartments provided by the municipalities or at relatives’ homes. Among them, approximately 80,000 people are still living in prefabricated temporary homes.
The Inaugural Regional Forum Promotes Action on Disaster Resilience
In light of ongoing global and regional discussions and commitments, this report intends to highlight good practices aimed at empowering women economically, particularly through entrepreneurship and innovation, drawing lessons for collective learning.
Voluntary return is one of the pillars of durable solutions proposed for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) under the international normative framework and human rights instruments. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in March 2011, which followed the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, displaced more than 150,000 persons as a large amount of radioactive materials were released from crippled reactors into the sea and atmosphere.
By Chief Petty Officer Christopher Tucker | Navy Public Affairs Support Element West | July 27, 2015
ROXAS CITY, Philippines – Multinational crew members of the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) wrapped up participation in a humanitarian assistance disaster relief (HADR) seminar July 24 hosted by Philippine government agencies at Capiz State University.
Dozens of stakeholders representing a diverse makeup of countries and organizations attended the weeklong event to better prepare all involved in responding to a natural disaster in the region.
Persons with disabilities often experience discrimination and exclusion, despite the adoption of an increasingly rights-based approach to humanitarian assistance. The past three decades have witnessed a growing awareness of disability issues and the emergence and spread of disabled people’s organisations.
The growing awareness must be accompanied by practical measures to identify and reduce the barriers faced by persons with disabilities in an emergency situation.
From the bottom of the ocean to the outer reaches of the galaxy – the possibilities offered by drones and satellites are practically unlimited. Unmanned aerial vehicles are no longer only used in war zones. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, they are also valuable aids in the fight against pollution and social injustice. They can expose polluters and even locate people buried under rubble. In our RESET Special 'Drones and Satellites for Good', we will introduce projects that use satellites and drones towards sustainable development.