What a poster story for better safety training

@dawnald (84213)
Shingle Springs, California
March 23, 2011 11:45am CST
I read this in this morning's paper: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2014573550_japanschoolweb23.html?syndication=rss After the Japanese earthquake, in which 10 of the school's teachers were killed, the remaining teachers walked the students out to the playground so that they wouldn't be hit by any falling debris. Some 45 minutes later the tsunami washed most of them away. How sad. And how preventable. If they had used that 45 minutes to move everybody to higher ground, probably all or most of them would have survived. Hopefully the Japanese, and everybody subject to the possibility of tsunamis will go back to the drawing board, and come up with a better safety plan.
2 people like this
19 responses
@uath13 (8204)
• United States
23 Mar 11
It's sad that in a region known for this kind of stuff they don't take the necessary precausions. Seriously, you shouldn't build tall buildings in earthquake prone regions. That's a recipe for disaster. You should build to suit the situation not the housing market, style, etc. As for the tsunami that's a difficult matter. If the buildings had been more structurally stable perhaps they could have offered more safe spots until it passes. Once your outside in one there's not much you can do besides hope your high enough up.
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Mar 11
And they were not high enough, nor was there any high ground apparently. Sad.
@uath13 (8204)
• United States
23 Mar 11
I actually know of a few houses in florida that were actually designed to deal with such problems. They've withstood the worst hurricanes & could easily withstand a tsunami as well. The wave might have blasted out the windows & gotten things a bit wet inside but the structure & people inside would have likely survived. Why aren't those design principles used more in high risk areas?
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Mar 11
Seriously? How do you design a house to do that? Because if we can, we definitely should!
@much2say (45197)
• Los Angeles, California
23 Mar 11
Ugh. That sort of reminds me of how people were trying to herd out of the World Trade buildings and some were told to just go back to their offices. Eek.
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Mar 11
Hard to know what to do when you don't have full information on the situation...
@much2say (45197)
• Los Angeles, California
23 Mar 11
It's so odd to me. I remember my dad talking about a tsunami that hit his part of Japan when he was a kid - said he remembers his neighbor's house floating away. So tsunami's have definitely been a part of Japan's history (where the name tsunami comes from - sheesh) - so one would think they HAD a plan of some kind. Obviously it wasn't enforced - and they probably thought there were no worries. Well . . . now after the fact . . . you can never know what Mother Nature will be up to.
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Mar 11
and especially after the Indonesian quake and tsunami...
@celticeagle (124544)
• Boise, Idaho
24 Mar 11
They knew this was coming. It just makes me ache inside thinking of the loss. It is idiotic to think there was so little planning. They had fortified the buildings but what does that help when the damage from the earthquake makes the earth fall and the tsunami that much more violent. I hate to think of it.
@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
24 Mar 11
After the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, there was so much talk about a tsunami warning system. Sad...
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
24 Mar 11
I've dealt with both fires and earthquakes. Not fun.
@debrakcarey (19921)
• United States
23 Mar 11
There was no higher ground. The area is a plain all around. I also read that the land mass sunk a few inches as a result of the quake as well as the coast shifting a few inches. I guess they could have gone further inland. It is so sad.
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Mar 11
Very sad... Maybe there was a tall building or something, but who would want to go into one after a huge quake.
@debrakcarey (19921)
• United States
23 Mar 11
Then there's the panic and the confusion, who thinks clearly at a time like that? Hind sight is 20/20, can't go back and try it again.
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Mar 11
Yeah plus 10 of the teachers were killed outright by the quake.
@topffer (41776)
• France
23 Mar 11
Maybe were they not allowed to go elsewhere ? Administrative rules are not made for such events. And with the shock of the earthquake and the deads around, 45 minutes is not long. The best safety plan cannot consider everything : fate, bad luck, God's will, play also a role in disasters. It can happen to all of us in every country. All we can do is to help those who are still living...
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Mar 11
In a situation like that, I would not give a damn about administrative rules, but I can definitely understand that they wouldn't know what to do, or if they even needed to do anything.
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Mar 11
Yeah, I get that....
@jazel_juan (15752)
• Philippines
24 Mar 11
I am also following these stories of tsunami and earthquake in Jaoan since our country is near their country plus i have cousins there..anyway, he said that earthquakes are normal, its just that that tsunami was not really expected. It caught everyone by surprise and no really expected it to be that big...it was like someone threw a bucket of water..(well that was more than 100 buckets of water). It is still sad that it happened and we also have fears that it might happened here since we are also prone to earthquake and tsunami
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@jazel_juan (15752)
• Philippines
24 Mar 11
and with that very big tsunami, those alive are really really lucky. prayers
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
24 Mar 11
It's very sad, and I can see how they wouldn't expect a tsunami, since they are used to quakes there. They probably had no idea how big that quake was.
@bounce58 (17447)
• Canada
28 Mar 11
This is very sad. The mere fact that the school was near the coastline, I doubt they could go far even if they knew that the tsunami was coming. It just goes to show that even our best precautions, are no match for the power of nature.
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
28 Mar 11
Even if they could, there probably wasn't any high ground close by...
@Lakota12 (42678)
• United States
28 Mar 11
One can only hope that they will go to high ground if it happens again
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
28 Mar 11
Yeah, you would hope that every government that has a coastline would learn from this.
@skysuccess (8880)
• Singapore
27 Mar 11
dawnald, I think we need to remember the quake's magnitude is already overwhelming and everyone is already in the state of shock. Also, let's not forget the aftershocks that ensued which will just hinder any recovery. So, you can imagine how the state the people there, were in. You just cannot be running anywhere and everywhere as there are aftershock considerations to think about. The 45 minutes though was ample for them to evacuate from the tsunami that ensued but they could not anticipate it. If the reports were accurate, I believe there wasn't enough time in between the quake and the tsunami as the latter's warning was only given 6 minutes in advance. In all fairness, I felt that this article's writer is lacking in experience and knowledge on such a devastating disaster.
@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
28 Mar 11
Oh I know it's perfect 20 20 hindsight to say that they should have been better prepared. However, if they'd had warning of the tsunami AND training, possibly they could have gotten further inland and saved a few more people.
• Janesville, Wisconsin
26 Mar 11
A quake an Tsunami of this strength is about a rare as the us new madrid fault line or san andreas or san cruz having a sudden big one.. No one will be prepared as they do not expect it within their lifetimes... even with all our technology and warnings.. I do not believe it is possible for us to ever be fully safe and prepared for the kind of incident Japan is dealing with today. I just hope nuke power is shut down worldwide soon... as there is so much being hid on the effects of this right now its scary.. Texas Galveston wall is one idea although that is build for hurricanes.. they have to design something like that that can redirect a wave 20-80 feet high moving at 500 miles per hour that can withstand and be flexible enough to stay put during an 9.0 quake.. they could look at the railroads smart tracks technology the amtrak uses maybe to make the wall respond to the movements.. to retain it's shape maybe but I do not see us being prepared every for this event anywhere Japan is a very high tech smart country.. when this hits it puts everyone into reaction mode as at first it is like oh just another quake our technology can handle this.. then the just another quake grows to last into minutes shakes them off their feet then theyare all in shock they do not know how to respond then a 15 minute warning for a tsunami as you stand there from roof top watch entire buldings floating off their foundations.. you can not put this into words.. you can not prepare for events like this.. you can only prepare a fast rescue, and clean up plan to cover and recycle and clean up as much as you can heal people you can ptsd treatment crush trauma victims, drowning victims.. pets.. The one thing that COULD be done to prepare to get people off that island.. is SOLAR FLARE watches scientists can predict areas the solar flares are about to hit to possible trigger these quakes.. My question is why are they not paying attention to where the strongest flare forces crossed the noon meridian that is what I am observing is a major clue to where the next biggest quake is about to hit.
@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
28 Mar 11
I replied in another discussion that I didn't think anybody could be totally prepared for such a disaster. But if they'd had their tsunami warning system in place, probably more people could have been saved.
@dorannmwin (36648)
• United States
26 Mar 11
That is terrible that all of those children were washed away in the tsunami. However, I have to say that I really don't think that they were wrong to take the children to the playground so that they would be safe of any kind of falling debris. My daughter's school does earthquake drills from time to time and what do they do? They are supposed to go under their tables while the shaking is going on and then after the initial earthquake is over, the children are escorted to outside the school until parents are able to retrieve their children.
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
28 Mar 11
No, they were right to take them to the playground. But then if there was a tsunami warning system in place, and if they'd been trained to take them further inland if the alarm went off....
@jillhill (37374)
• United States
24 Mar 11
I suppose they were so shook up by the earthquake it didn't even cross their mind a tsunami was on it's way....
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
24 Mar 11
Probably, and not knowing how big the quake was...
@webearn99 (1743)
• India
24 Mar 11
Given the horrifying earthquake situation it most probably did not occur to them. They did what they were trained to do to perfection, get the students out safely. Tsunami undid all that. What you say is correct. There needs to be a rethink on disaster management. I think that relocation of population away from Tsunami prone areas should be taken up, however difficult.
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
24 Mar 11
Yes, they followed the training for quake safety perfectly, so if they had further training for tsunamis, maybe some of those children would have been saved.
@debrakcarey (19921)
• United States
24 Mar 11
I was at work after reading your discussion and having read up on earthquake probability in my own area as well. We had a fire drill and it made me wonder how I would react if it was an earthquake and I was away from my family. I know I'd do as I've been trained and respond to the needs of my residents, but I'd also be frantic to see to my family's safety as well. I wonder if the Japanese felt any of that? I'm sure they did.
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
24 Mar 11
Oh absolutely, they must have.
@neildc (17250)
• Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines
24 Mar 11
they were just not alarmed about the tsunami or they were still shocked with the earthquake. i guess even if we were there at that time, we could not even think about the tsunami, we could only think of the same thing, to free ourselves from falling debris. goodness, we are not in that place at that time.
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
24 Mar 11
I wouldn't think about a tsunami either if I wasn't trained to...
@blue65packer (11831)
• United States
24 Mar 11
That is so tragic! Most of those children would of survived if they had been taken to high ground! It is to late to bring these children back but hopefully there will be different better safety training now! It is so sad knowing that will happen because so many children lost their lives!
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
24 Mar 11
I do hope they update their safety training after the rebuilding and recovery efforts are less swamped. It really could save lives. Though, as somebody else pointed out, when you are panicked you don't always follow protocol.
@GardenGerty (130193)
• United States
23 Mar 11
It has been my experience that you can train and train and still people do things that they should not, or do not do the things that they should.
@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Mar 11
Especially when they are panicked.
@babyEj (1523)
• Philippines
23 Mar 11
YES... as we progress in many aspects of our life the BASICS were forgotten and left behind. These are what do innovation brings..makes our minds useless.
@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Mar 11
I think people were shocked too, and only focusing on the earthquake.
@saphrina (31732)
• South Africa
23 Mar 11
Hi Dawny. That's bad. I honestly hope this can end as it seem to get worse lately. I think japan took enough for a lifetime. Not good.
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@dawnald (84213)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Mar 11
Yeah, they did....