In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly decided to dedicate a day to spread awareness about how best to reduce natural disasters around the world. In 2009, the UNGA designated 13 October as the International Day for Disaster Reduction. The theme for 2016 is 'Live To Tell: Raising Awareness, Reducing Mortality'.
Over the years, Japan, one of the world's most disaster prone countries, has lost millions of lives to devastating natural disasters like floods and earthquakes. However, the country has also set a new benchmark in terms of disaster management by relentlessly working to improve their disaster-readiness.
Catch has compiled a handful of these lessons that can and should be adopted by countries around the world to reduce the effects of natural disasters:
1. Great Kantō earthquake of 1923
On 1 September, 1923, an earthquake with magnitude of 7.9 devastated Tokyo, Yokohama and many more cities. The earthquake claimed 1,42,800 lives, while 40,000 people were reported missing (according to official count). Such was the impact of the earthquake that Japan considered stripping Tokyo of its capital city tag.
After the catastrophe, the nation delved into reconstructing their cities with a slew of smart technologies in place. This is Japan did:
- Wood and brick buildings were replaced by towers of concrete and steel.