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NDPTC, UH, Tohoku University Participate in Disaster Risk Reduction Symposium

Posted on Jan. 30, 2014

The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC), together with faculty from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM), participated in an international disaster risk reduction symposium on January 30th and 31st with Tohoku University’s International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) faculty from Japan

Held at the East-West Center in Honolulu, the symposium, “UHM-Tohoku University Disaster Risk Reduction Collaboration” brought together researchers from the United States and Japan to share research and explore future collaborative projects focused on disaster science, natural hazards, and disaster risk reduction.

NDPTC Executive Director Karl Kim gave a talk on disaster recovery and building community resilience, and Dolores Foley, Chair of Urban and Regional Planning at UHM, discussed her work on indigenous institutions and their role in disaster risk. The symposium addressed other disaster–related topics, including using geospatial technologies to understand risk, the economics of disasters, and health information technology.

Because Tohoku University is located in the city of Sendai, Japan, an area seriously affected by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant meltdown, the faculty had a unique perspective on disaster recovery and risk reduction. Though the tsunami did not damage Tohoku University because it is located inland, the earthquake damaged 27 buildings at the university, caused millions of dollars of damage to equipment, and lead to the temporary closure of the university for over a month.