The devastation caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, which occurred on March 11, 2011, resulted in over 20,000 dead or missing persons, the largest and most wide scale disaster to befall Japan since the Second World War. Going back 28 years, the Middle Japan Sea Earthquake occurred on March 26, 1983. During this earthquake, the northern coast of Akita Prefecture was hit by a major tsunami; the death toll from this earthquake was 104 persons, of whom 100 were victims of this tsunami. In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, revisions were made to future disaster scenarios, with an earthquake measuring a maximum of M8.7 predicted to hit ocean areas, and an earthquake measuring a maximum of M7.7 to hit inland.
A regional earthquake would cause a colossal tsunami that would strike mainly the Tohoku region, and an inland earthquake would cause strong tremors in Akita Prefecture. And it is not only earthquake disasters which have the potential to wreak extensive damage. Meteorological disasters are predicted to become more frequent as a result of global warming. At the Akita University Center for Regional Development Regional Disaster Prevention Department, our main tasks consist of investigating and analyzing earthquakes and active fault lines along with providing regional disaster prevention and disaster prevention education. Our aim is to serve as a center for practical disaster prevention research in collaboration with administrative authorities and local communities, thus helping protect citizens from a range of predicted natural disasters.
Toshihiko Mizuta, Head of the Regional Disaster Prevention Department