disaster prevention

Massive storm lights up Tokyo with thousands of lightning strikes 【Pics & Videos】

It was the strongest thunderstorm to hit the capital in years.

Read More

Drones capture shocking footage of flooding in Ibaraki, Japan【Video】

When disaster zones are inaccessible by ground—such as the areas of Japan hit by widespread and deadly flooding last week—news broadcasters typically take to the air, relaying footage from helicopters. In the city of Joso, Ibaraki, news helicopters captured dramatic footage of rescue teams winching people to safety from rooftops on Thursday after the Kinugawa River burst its banks.

But helicopters can only get so close, and so authorities in Japan are now using drones to capture footage in disaster areas. The drones can fly closer to disaster-hit areas than a manned helicopter, offering a different and dramatic perspective.

And drones are not only being used to survey these areas hit by flooding and landslides; they are also starting to be used in rescue missions.

Read More

Visiting Ikebukuro’s disaster prevention center and experiencing a magnitude-9 earthquake【Video】

The first real earthquake I remember experiencing was on March 11, 2011. You might recognize that as the day of the Great Tohoku Earthquake, which brought the devastating tsunami that ravaged the northeastern coast of Japan. I was in Tokyo at the time, so the seismic activity was markedly lower than that experienced by people living in places like Iwate and Fukushima, but it was still a real shock.

Ever since, I’ve wondered just how much worse it must have been closer to the epicenter. Thanks to the Ikebukuro Life Safety Learning Center, I’ve come close to understanding what it must have felt like. Though far from anything you could describe as “fun,” it was an unquestionably powerful experience — and you can find out what it was like too. Check out our video introducing the center below, and learn a little bit about what to do in case you find yourself in caught in the middle of a powerful earthquake.

Read More