Six days have passed since the record torrential rain hit many parts of West Japan. Even now, there are many people who have gone missing. I do hope that those still missing will be rescued at the earliest time possible. My sympathies will also go to the survivors of the disaster whose daily life has been greatly inconvenienced as they have to get on with their life under the scorching sun every day.
As of today, Hiroshima University has started three initiatives of the following: 1) dispatching of the student volunteers, 2) setting up an academic team in charge of conducting comprehensive studies on the torrential rain, 3) calling for on-campus donation.
From today, we have started to dispatch a team of volunteers consisted of the students from HU. Following the disaster, the public announcement of a recruiting of the volunteers has been made in Japanese, English, and Chinese. By collaborating with the Volunteer Center of Higashi Hiroshima City Council of Social Welfare, the students will be dispatched to the disaster-stricken areas, engaging themselves in work such as removing muddy water and dirt from the affected sites. HU will rent and arrange microbuses to the sites as well as provide the students with boots and shovels. At 9am on 11th July, the first team with 50 students left for Takaya-cho and Saijo-cho (Shimo-minaga). On 12th July, another 100 volunteers are expected to join the work. Microbuses will be arranged even during the national holidays between 14th and 16th July.
As of 11th July, “Hiroshima University Disaster Investigation Team for July Torrential Rain of 2018 (hereafter, to be abbreviated as ‘The Team’)” has been established, representing the local national universities in Chugoku-Shikoku area. The Team will be comprised of disaster prevention experts from HU, who will conduct investigations and analyses into/of debris flow, slope disaster, hydrometeorology, flooding/overflow, and damage to life lines from the experts’ point of view. Ultimately, the Team will aim at making a proposal for the reconstruction/rebuilding of the towns concerned. The Team will be active for the next two years, and I am going to be the head of the Team.
In addition, in order to express our heartfelt sympathy to the affected areas, the students and faculty/administrative members are expected to be all united, starting to undertake for initiating donation activities at HU. The donation boxes have been set up at places including the Administration Bureau and Hiroshima University Hospital. The donation is also being called for the wider audiences at the website of HU. So, I would be very thankful if you could spare some money for the donation campaign.
I have received a letter of condolences from Dr. Meng Fanhui, President of Capital Normal University (CNU) in China where Hiroshima University has HU Beijing Research Center. Apart from that, we have received many get-well messages from the Presidents of the academic institutions located inside/outside Japan.
Hiroshima University is determined to be on the side of those people who have been stricken by the disaster the history of Japan has never seen before. HU students, faculty and administrative members are all united to face the aftermath of the disaster.
President of Hiroshima University