Disasters and natural calamities affect the lives of many people. Communities should have efficient disaster management plans (DMPs) in order to help every affected citizen (Nies & McEwen, 2015). Such management plans should be properly coordinated in order to be successful. Different stakeholders should also be involved throughout the disaster management process. This practice supports the needs of the affected citizens. This discussion describes a powerful earthquake that struck Japan on 16th April 2016.
Current Natural Disaster
The latest earthquake to be recorded in Japan’s Kumamoto city has claimed over 40 lives. Rough estimates indicate that the earthquake has injured around 3,000 people (Kyodo, 2016). The earthquake has also damaged the city. Evacuation has been ongoing in an attempt to safeguard the lives of more people. Some experts have warned that another earthquake might strike in the next few weeks (Ryall, 2016).
Type of Disaster
The selected disaster for this study is natural (Ryall, 2016). Natural disasters are destructive and impossible to control. Earthquakes usually cause severe destruction and damage. They also kill and affect the living conditions of many people. The unpredictability of natural disasters such as earthquakes is one of the major challenges that affect the effectiveness of disaster management plans (DMPs). The earthquake destroyed properties worth millions of dollars and killed 42 people (Ryall, 2016).
Characteristics of the Disaster
According to different seismologists, the Japanese earthquake was characterized by a series of shocks that occurred in Kumamoto (Kyodo, 2016). The main shock was “recorded at 01:25 JST” (Kyodo, 2016, para. 4). The magnitude of the quake was 7.3 and was recorded in the city of Kumamoto. A foreshock had preceded this mainshock. The foreshock recorded a magnitude of 6.2 and occurred on 14th April. These shocks caused severe damage to Kumamoto and its surroundings. Many structures and buildings collapsed after the earthquake. Some buildings were also observed to catch fire thus making it impossible for the relevant authorities to tackle the disaster. The government also reported that over 44,000 had been evacuated from the city (Ryall, 2016).
Disaster Management Stages
Several stages were undertaken by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) in order to manage the disaster. The first stage was the evacuation of victims. This strategy was undertaken in order to rescue every injured person. This move was necessary towards rescuing more people. As well, the agency coordinated various activities to ensure more people were evacuated from every damaged building (Ryall, 2016). Several activities were coordinated in order to control the fire from spreading to different buildings. Collapsed buildings were also examined in order to rescue trapped persons.
The next stage was to coordinate rescue efforts. This stage attracted different “stakeholders such as NGOs, medical institutions, the police, and volunteers” (Kyodo, 2016, para. 7). The agency is currently working hard to search and rescue people who might be trapped in the ruins. The third stage will be to clean up the city and initiate the most desirable reconstruction processes. These efforts will ensure more lives are saved and support the needs of the citizens.
The above earthquake has killed many people and left others homeless. This natural disaster had not been predicted by the country’s meteorological department. However, the disaster management stages undertaken by the FDMA have been successful (Kyodo, 2016). Disaster management teams should therefore embrace similar practices whenever there is a natural disaster.
Nies, M., & McEwen, M. (2015). Community/Public Health Nursing: Promoting the Health of Populations. New York, NY: Saunders.
Kyodo, J. (2016). The strongest earthquake since 2011 strikes the Kumamoto area. The Japan Times. Web.
Ryall, J. (2016). Japan was left reeling by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake killing 32 in Kumamoto. The Telegraph. Web.