Local Government Profile
"Nagaoka city has been affected by the “Niigata Fukushima Heavy Rainfall” in July 2004. During reconstruction from this flood, the city was attacked by the “Niigata prefecture Chuetsu Earthquake” in October in the same year, and experienced tremendous damages. In addition, survived houses from the earthquake were collapsed by the following snowfall heaviest within these 19 years. There is no other municipality that have been affected by a flood, an earthquake, and heavy snow within the same year, even in Japan where is prone to disasters. Nagaoka city is forming to be the strongest city in Japan based on such valuable experiences. I would like to mitigate tragedies as much as possible in other municipalities in the case of future disasters by participating in this campaign, introducing our disaster experiences and by providing references. I do believe that this is my duty and way to express gratitude to those who assisted us before."
Hazard and vulnerability profile
Nagaoka city is located in a region vulnerable to natural hazards such as earthquakes, land slides, floods, tsunamis, because of wide-spread hill-side areas and the Japanese largest river, Shinano-gawa, as well as the Sea of Japan. Recent disasters include Niigata-Fukushima Heavy Rain (13 July 2004), killed 4, destroyed 3,996; Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake (23 Oct. 2004), killed 28, injured 2,438; and Niigata Chuetsu-oki Earthquake (16 July 2007), injured 243, and destroyed 7,957 units.
Disaster Risk Reduction Activities
There is hardly a municipality that could be seriously affected by flood, an earthquake, and heavy snow all together. Based on such valuable experiences dealing with disaster risk mitigation, Nagaoka city is poised to be a model city in Japan in terms of DRR activities. For examples, VDMG (Voluntary Disaster Management Groups) based on Community Based Organizations has increased dramatically since the 2004 earthquake. Currently VDMGs are organized in 88% of the city while the national average is 73%. In addition, 50 experts of disaster management are certified through the Chuetsu Citizen’s College for Disaster Management and Safety that was initiated after the Chuetsu Earthquake in 2004, and they are actively mobilizing citizens as the leaders of regional disaster management. On the other hand, the municipality has finished earthquake risk assessment of all school facilities that are used as evacuation place, and will finalize seismic retrofitting works within 2010. Nagaoka city hopes to establish as a model city for disaster risk reduction activities.
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