In 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered a major tsunami that devastated northeast Japan, killing more than 15,000 people and crippling a nuclear power plant. Natural disasters like this one can be seen throughout our Earth’s history. They will continue to prey on all regions, bringing devastation when they strike. But are we so powerless? What if we could improve preparedness over the world and limit the devastation caused by coastal disasters? These are the questions we at Waseda University have been asking. Now we would like to share our experiences and achievements in disaster prevention with the rest of the world. In this environmental studies course, you will learn about coastal disasters. Using worldwide field surveys, you will develop an understanding of the nature of tsunamis and storm surges. You will learn how coastal areas are attacked, understand how human lives are lost and infrastructure destroyed. Using numerical simulations and hydraulic experiments, we will present you with different scenarios, teaching you about the mechanisms behind a coastal disaster. You will look at successful coastal disaster prevention concepts and methods. This will include defenses such as coastal dikes, as well as the implementation of essential evacuation plans. Ultimately, you will learn how to reduce the effects of coastal disasters and how to protect yourself and others if a disaster strikes. Whether you are an emergency management official, a city developer, an engineering student, or living in a potential natural coastal disaster community, this environmental studies course will teach you how we can improve disaster preparedness and management throughout the world.
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