NATION

The Realities Of Coping After A Disaster

Coping with the aftermath of a natural disaster is not a desirable situation, says community leader Atsuko Sato. But she believes it always brings out the best for the communities
25 Feb 2015 07:41
The Realities Of Coping After A Disaster
Fiji Sun West Editor Waisea Nasokia, and journalists of EL Diario de Hoy (from El Salvador) Lucinda Quintanilla, America TV (from Peru) Dayhanna Chavez, La Prensa (from Nicagurua) Rezaye Alvarez, and JICA sub co-ordinator Misuzu Minomiya in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Abul Kalam Azad

Coping with the aftermath of a natural disaster is not a desirable situation, says community leader Atsuko Sato. But she believes it always brings out the best for the communities affected to work together.

Ms Sato, who lived in North Nokkodo, Japan, said the disaster of January 17, 1995 changed their lives forever.

Widely known as the Kobe earthquake, the tremors that lasted for about 20 seconds killed over 6000 people. It was reported that 4600 of them were from Kobe.

Ms Sato was speaking with a group of 16 international journalists, who are on a Japan international cooperation agency (JICA) training programme. The journalists are on tour to learn about disaster management and how to report it.

They also had an on-site inspection of community renovation in North Rokkodo and North of Noda in the city of Hyogo to understand how the community and municipality responded to the transformation needed.

The journalists’ last visit was to Maiko High School which boasts an institution to implement disaster prevention

“Our homes were destroyed, basically we lost everything – most of our precious belonging we were unable to save that morning,” Ms Sato said.

“Who could have saved it during that time as our lives was more important than anything else on earth.”

A few months later the municipality made the decision for landowners to give up their land to facilitate the facelift.

“We then gave up our land for the plans to build a park for the community which was important for the future generation,” she said.

“Now the streets and whole city looks beautiful – making it seem like there was no major disaster in the area.”

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 

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