Tsunami research improves coastal protection


🖊NATURE📸Waseda University of Japan

Intensive tsunami research at Waseda University is informing coastal disaster prevention in Japan and abroad.

The future of many coastal megacities depends upon reliable disaster prediction, protection and prevention strategies as global warming is projected to bring stronger storms, risking millions of lives.

On 11 March 2011, the devastating Tohoku tsunami was triggered by an earthquake off Japan, killing more than 15,000 people. Japan experiences more earthquakes than anywhere in the world, but catastrophic tsunamis and storm surges are a global problem; from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, to Typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines in 2013.

After the 2011 catastrophic tsunami, Waseda University established the Center for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and called for research proposals for on reconstruction of affected areas.

Professor Tomoya Shibayama from the Faculty of Science and Engineering, led a project on infrastructure restoration and disaster management systems that focussed on tsunami responses to support design of new towns and fishing villages at affected sites.

Beyond the science of tsunamis, Shibayama has helped transform Waseda into a base for studying natural hazards, from storms surges to volcanic eruptions.

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