IRIDeS and University of Hawaii Co-hosted a Pre-event for “World Tsunami Awareness Day”

From September 15 to 17, 2016, IRIDeS co-hosted “Communicating Disaster Science” as a pre-event of “World Tsunami Awareness Day” with University of Hawaii, Manoa (UHM) which concluded the academic agreement with Tohoku University. The event was held at a UHM campus in Honolulu, USA, and aimed to share lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake with the world, developing international cooperation in the area of disaster risk reduction.


Dr. Denise Eby Konan, Dean of the College of School of Social Sciences of UHM, gave an opening speech, and IRIDeS Director Dr. Fumihiko Imamura sent a vide message to the participants, saying “It is our pleasure to contribute to world tsunami risk reduction, together with people in Hawaii”. Afterwards, former students of Sendai Ikuei Gakuen High School, who received warm support in Hawaii right after the Earthquake, expressed their appreciation to Hawaii people.


The keynote lecture by Prof. Shunichi Koshimura from IRIDeS pointed out risks of car evacuation and of overreliance on hazard maps, which received much attentions from the audience. Other IRIDeS presentations include the following: Research Associate Mari Yasuda carried out a session on disaster risk reduction education for Hawaii school teachers; Assistant Prof. Volker Roeber discussed coastal levees; Assistant Prof. Liz Maly talked about handing down disaster memories, with graduate students of G-Safety program, Tohoku University and the director of Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo, Hawaii. Also, IRIDeS and UHM scholars and Tohoku and Hawaii journalists held a roundtable discussion regarding media-academia collaboration in disaster risk reduction.


Finally, an English version of the 80-min documentary film “The Great Tsunami in Japan: Reflecting on the 2011 Disaster” (produced by NHK Media Technology, academically supervised by Dr. Fumihiko Imamura) was screened, as the film’s premiere outside Japan. Almost all of three hundred seats of the auditorium were filled, and the film earned applause afterwards. A Hawaii viewer made a comment, “the film is really powerful. It is also precious as it shows what’s happened in English to the international audience.”

keynote lecture Prof. Shuichi Koshimura

Screening of “The Great Tsunami in Japan”