8 Countries from the Asia-Pacific Participate in “Tokyo Mega Earthquake 72 Hour Tour”
The Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD) held a disaster management training in Tokyo on March 1-2, 2023, with about 30 participants from eight countries, mainly from A-PAD member countries.
On the first day, the participants shared their disaster response experiences from the past ten years. They were then divided into three groups, discussed the strengths and unique characteristics of A-PAD, future goals, and specific action items.
A-PAD, recently celebrating its 10th anniversary, has created platforms in six countries in which the private sector, NGOs, governments, and the media work together to support disaster-stricken areas. However, each country maintains its own unique collaboration network.
In Sri Lanka, which suffers from frequent flooding, the military and civilians have worked together to improve their rescue skills through a series of water rescue training. A-PAD Sri Lanka has also worked with the media group “News 1st” to improve local residents’ awareness toward disaster prevention.
Indonesia experiences tsunamis and earthquakes. In collaboration with the government and hotels in Bali, A-PAD established a “tourism disaster prevention model” that aims to protect lives from disasters. Through “Disaster Channel,” A-PAD has also disseminated information on disasters and disaster prevention through the internet.
In the Philippines, six regional platforms have been established so far, and A-PAD has been searching for ways to respond to disasters based on the specific needs and circumstances of each region.
A-PAD Bangladesh works with many medical professionals. They have continued to provide medical assistance in situations where emergency response is required including for Rohingya refugees, flood victims, and those impacted by COVID-19.
In South Korea, A-PAD has focused on disaster prevention education, fundraising, and supported disaster relief activities in other A-PAD member countries.
The platform in Japan established a disaster response alliance called SEMA, which works with companies to quickly deliver supplies to affected areas. A-PAD is also continuing programs for collaborative projects to support local NGOs in areas impacted by disasters.
Lastly, A-PAD is currently preparing to launch in Taiwan and Nepal.
During the training, participants discussed capacity building for each country’s platform, ideal training methods, project management, and the importance of disaster prevention education for people vulnerable to disasters. There were also proposals for an international roster system and PR guidelines.
In the afternoon, the participants visited Sona Area Tokyo, a hands-on learning facility in Ariake for disaster preparedness and participated in a simulation exercise called “Tokyo Direct 72h Tour.” The tour aims to showcase how to survive when support is scarce during the onset of an earthquake.
The facility had a life-size diorama of disaster areas and an evacuation center. Participants explored the exhibit while working on the quiz using a tablet. A simulation video highlighting possible impacts of mega earthquakes in Tokyo was also shown.
The facility also had special exhibits on possible mega earthquakes directly hitting Tokyo, helpful information on how to survive after an earthquake, and useful disaster preparedness items.