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  • 'Fun disaster' drills catching on across Japan, 25 years after Kobe quake

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'Fun disaster' drills catching on across Japan, 25 years after Kobe quake

Source(s):  Japan Times Ltd., the

By Jiji


The citizen-led “fun disaster” programs seek to pass on the lessons of solidarity and mutual assistance learned from the 1995 quake that rocked Kobe and surrounding areas, which waited days for rescue and relief as authorities struggled to grasp the extent of the damage.


Hosted in a shopping complex in Kobe, the Iza! Kaeru Caravan event was abuzz with elementary school pupils making ponchos out of trash bags, tableware out of paper and chairs out of cardboard. They also held relay races and played games using makeshift stretchers made of blankets, as well as hit-the-target games using fire extinguishers.


“Children learn to act by themselves through this program,” said Kazunari Takayama, 29, a representative with the Okayama Next School Association. “I hope the junior high school students will be able to pass on their experiences and teach others how to deal with disasters.”


“It’s a highly effective way to cooperate with the local community,” said Takuo Nonaka, vice principal of the junior high school. “Students feel their efforts paying off as locals use (their disaster prevention know-how.)”


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  • Publication date 16 Jan 2020

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