Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

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Part III - Chapter 10
Box 10.5 Layered disaster risk management strategies
The Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 was a hazard of unprecedented scale, with a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami affecting large areas of the Tōhoku Region. Prior to this event, risk assessments of this region had been based on limited historical data on earthquakes and tsunamis and therefore failed to predict the intensity of the earthquake and the height and extent of the tsunami. The tsunami waves flooded areas that were supposed to be protected by sea walls, and in several places the false sense of security provided by the hazard maps conspired against timely evacuation and response.
Box 10.4 Application of seismic risk assessments for retrofitting public infrastructure in Istanbul
A series of hazard and risk assessments, including a micro-zonation study of earthquake hazard and risk assessment conducted by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has informed investments in seismic risk reduction in Istanbul. These assessments were prompted by the devastating zmitKocaeli and Düzce earthquakes in 1999, which resulted in more than 17,000 lost lives and around US$20 billion in direct losses. The assessment initiative therefore had the full support of the municipal authorities and the public.

The results of these assessments were adopted for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s disaster risk management master plan for the city and applied to the Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project (ISMEP). Conceived as a 14-year project, ISMEP started in 2006 with a budget of EUR 1.5 billion. By 2014, a total of 1,162 public buildings, including 726 schools, 39 hospitals (Figure 10.6), 59 health centres, and 80 other public facilities identified as the highest priority, were renovated or retrofitted, and 218 schools considered unsuitable for retrofitting (based on cost-benefit analyses) were reconstructed.
ISMEP and its evolvement over time show how hazard and risk assessments can help a government understand the severity of risks and trigger on-the-ground risk reduction activities. However, seismic risk in Istanbul continues to increase from new construction in response to population growth and internal migration and as a result of the enforcement challenges associated with land-use plans and construction policies (GAR 13 paperGFDRR, 2014c

GAR13 Reference GFDRR (Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery). 2014c,Resilient Recovery: An Imperative for Resilient Development, Background Paper prepared for the 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. Geneva, Switzerland: UNISDR..
Click here to view this GAR paper.
). Retrofitting existing structures does not solve the problem of new risk created on a daily basis by urbanization.
Figure 10.6 Structural model of Marmara University Training and Research Hospital Retrofitting, Restoration, and Reinforcement Project to finish in 2014
(Source: Government of Istanbul.9)
There is also evidence of major investments in retrofitting critical facilities such as schools in a number of countries on the basis of hazard and risk assessments and in the context of internationally supported projects (Box 10.4).
In addition, countries like Japan are now using a risk-layered approach to disaster risk management in order to inform coastal development (Box 10.5)
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