Magnitude of Japan rains and floods sign of growing challenge to disaster risk management
GENEVA, 13 July 2018 – The UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, today extended her condolences to the Government and people of Japan on the large loss of life suffered in recent days following rain and landslides.
Ms. Mizutori said: “I extend my deepest sympathy to the Government and people of Japan on the loss of life and severe damage to homes and other infrastructure in this tragic disaster which reveals once more the challenges of managing disaster risk in an age of frequent extreme weather events amplified by the effects of climate change.
“Japan is held up as a role model to other nations because of their highly developed disaster risk management system. As one of the most disaster-prone countries, that system is constantly tried and tested by a wide range of hazards and the government is always quick to apply the lessons learned.
“This constant search for improvement is evident again now in the announcement that an investigative committee of experts and disaster management officials is to be established with a view to formulating new guidelines on early warning and evacuation procedures. This quick response has been announced while efforts of rescue and recovery are still going on.
“The lessons learned from this and other similar events around the world, need to be applied if we are to succeed in reducing loss of life and the numbers of people affected by disasters. Rainfall patterns are changing and heavy precipitation events can lead to loss of life in settings which may not have experienced such events in the recent past. We must continue to focus on ensuring that the built environment is resilient and fit for purpose.”
Ms. Mizutori is also head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction which supports implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the global plan for reducing disaster losses adopted by UN member states in 2015.