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Disaster evacuation and risk perception in democracies [DEVAST]

2011 à 2013

On March 11, 2011 a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Tohoku, in Northeastern Honshu. The temblor triggered a tsunami that measured more than 40 meters in height in places. More than 15,000 people have been confirmed dead, with another 7,000 missing (feared dead) and more than 5,000 injured. Nearly 200,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed.

The DEVAST project seeks to collect ephemeral empirical evidence that is at urgent risk of being lost if not collected soon.

DEVAST aims to look at the chain of impacts that was triggered by the earthquake throughout the Japanese society, from the immediate disaster response to the long-term perception of risk. A key innovative component of this project is that it seeks not only to understand the immediate response to the disaster, but also its long-lasting impact in the Japanese society and abroad. Thus these impacts will be considered not only on the local level, but also on the international level, through a comparison with France.

The project is organised around two overarching themes that represent key milestones in the chain of impacts: an analysis of the disaster response, focusing in particular on the management of the evacuation, and the evolution of the perception of risks. Each of these themes constitutes a core task of the project. A third task will then bring together these two themes in a comparative perspective, seeking to analyse how democracies deal with disasters.

All activities described above, especially field data collection, will be undertaken in 2012.

Duration: 2011-2013

Partners : Tokyo Institute for Technology (TITech), Waseda University (Tokyo)