Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 January 19 - 25  > Tonga undersea volcanic eruption provides opportunity for Japan to re-examine its disaster preparedness
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2022 January 19 - 25 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Tonga undersea volcanic eruption provides opportunity for Japan to re-examine its disaster preparedness

January 19, 2022

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Following the huge eruption of an underwater volcano near the Tonga Islands in the South Pacific, tsunamis occurred across the Pacific. In Japan, tsunami warnings and tsunami advisories were issued before dawn of January 16 to Amami Islands and Tokara Islands (Kagoshima Pref.) and Iwate Prefecture as well as to prefectures located on the Pacific side, respectively. No injuries were reported from the tsunamis, but several Japanese ships and aquaculture facilities suffered some damage. Taking the volcanic eruption that happened about 8,000 kilometers away from Japan as an opportunity to conduct research, Japan needs to re-examine its disaster preparedness by analyzing and simulating possible aftermaths of a distant volcanic eruption.

According to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, evacuation instructions were issued to more than 220,000 people across the country. In some areas, railway services were suspended and a unified university entrance exam was postponed. The late-night instructions sparked anxiety around coastal towns.

The mid-winter evacuation also brought about a new challenge to Japan. In cold snowfall regions like Hokkaido and Tohoku, shelters without sufficient measures in place to protect evacuees from the cold could increase the risk of death from hypothermia.

Patchy information about the death toll, collapsed buildings, and the huge ashfall in Tonga have been reported. However, the extent of the damage is unknown. International rescue, aid, and relief efforts are urgently needed, and Japan should play a role in offering assistance.
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved