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
Effective post-disaster reconstruction programmes
This topic guide is a review of the state of play in post-disaster reconstruction. It builds on extensive research, literature and experience to date, most recently considering outputs from the 2015 Sendai Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). It considers the status quo and puts forward alternative positions for facilitating effective reconstruction through a more seamless and re-planned approach.
The conclusions of this publication are the following (p. 57):
By Jonathan Fowler
GENEVA, 15 August 2016 - A new report highlights the lessons of Japan’s 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, the world’s deadliest catastrophe in a decade, and underlines how they fed into the creation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The elderly are usually the last to flee from an unfolding conflict or disaster. Once displaced, many are vulnerable to poor health and face greater obstacles to restoring livelihoods and achieving durable solutions.
Guest bloggers Ana Mosneaga from the United Nations University and Michaella Vanore from Maastricht University share their insights on the internally displaced elderly in Georgia and Japan. Cheng Boon Ong puts this further into perspective by sharing IDMC’s experience with gathering sex and age disaggregated data.
Sydney, Australia | AFP | Monday 7/4/2016 - 04:18 GMT
Radiation levels across the Pacific Ocean are rapidly returning to normal five years after a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant spewed gases and liquids into the sea, a study showed Monday.
Japan shut down dozens of reactors after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake-generated tsunami on March 11, 2011 triggered one of the largest ever dumps of nuclear material into the world's oceans.
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.