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HU's Actions in Response to the Torrential Rain 2018

1. Establishing system for assisting restoration with the President playing the central role

(1) Setting up Emergency Taskforce for the Torrential Rain 2018

  • Set up Emergency Taskforce for the Torrential Rain 2018, with the President as the head, on Saturday 7th July
  • Checked the safety and the extent, if any, of damage incurred by each student, faculty and administrative member at the university. Provided the following support; 1) support to students upon resuming classes, and 2) support for those people who had been affected by the torrential rain including international students at Hiroshima University
  • Held a total of seven Emergency Taskforce meetings during Monday 9th July and Monday 29th October to share the information concerning the extent of damage and the university’s actions in response to the torrential rain 2018. Those actions were posted on the university’s website.

(2) Issuing special messages entitled “From the President Concerning the Torrential Rain 2018”

  • Emailing messages from the President concerning the Torrential Rain 2018 to the students, faculty, and administrative members at Hiroshima University on Sunday 8th, Monday 9th, and Wednesday 11th of July. The messages were also made available on the university’s website.
  • Sending a letter from the President concerning the Torrential Rain 2018 to partner universities via email on Tuesday 17th July.
  • Sending a letter from the President to the guardians of about 14,000 home students on Monday 20th August. 

2. Actions to resume classes

(1) Rescheduling academic calendar

1. University

[Higashi-Hiroshima campus]
Cancelling classes: between Friday 6th July and Friday 13th July
Resuming classes: from Tuesday 17th July
Summer holidays: from Friday 10th August to Sunday 30th September

[Kasumi and Higashi-Senda campuses]
Cancelling classes: between Friday 6th July and Monday 9th July
Resuming classes: from Tuesday 10th July
Summer holidays: from Friday 10th August to Sunday 30th September

2. Affiliated Schools

  • As Hiroshima University Kindergarten, Elementary School, and Junior High School in Mihara had incurred severe damage, their academic calendars were rescheduled as follows:
    - Closing the schools: between Friday 6th July and Friday 20th July
    - Summer holidays: from Saturday 21st July to late August
    - Resuming classes: from late August
  • As for Hiroshima University Junior and Senior High Schools in Fukuyama, their academic calendars were rescheduled as follows:
    - Closing the schools: between Friday 6th July and Wednesday 11th July
    - Resuming classes: from Thursday 12th July
    - Summer holidays: from Friday 20th July to Wednesday 22nd August
    - Resuming classes: from Thursday 23rd August
  • Hiroshima University Kindergarten rescheduled its academic calendar as follows:
    - Closing the school: between Friday 6th July and Thursday 19th July
    - Summer holidays: from Friday 20th July to Monday 27th August
    - Resuming classes: from Tuesday 28th August
  • At other affiliated schools, classes were resumed from Tuesday 10th July, and the new term began in late August after the end of summer holidays.

(2) Arranging transportation to Higashi-Hiroshima campus

1. Actions taken between Tuesday 17th July (the day classes resumed) and Thursday 9th August (the day before the summer holidays started)

  • Additional bus services were arranged between Higashi-Hiroshima station and Higashi-Hiroshima campus
  • Chartered bus services were provided between Kure-city and Higashi-Hiroshima campus
  • Chartered bus services were provided between JR Hiroshima station and Higashi-Hiroshima campus on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th of August during which exams were being held.

2. Transportation arrangement during Open Campus days, i.e. on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd of August

  • Additional bus services were arranged between Higashi-Hiroshima station and Higashi-Hiroshima campus
  • Chartered bus services were provided between JR Hiroshima station and Higashi-Hiroshima campus, and between Kure-city and Higashi-Hiroshima campus

3. Providing information of train and bus services available

  • Providing information through the following sites:
    - University websites
    - IROHA, the faculty and staff information portal site
    - MOMIJI, the student information portal site

(3) Supporting those students who were experiencing difficulties in commuting from their home

1. Providing temporary dormitory rooms

  • Number of applicants: 27, Male (n=9) / Female (n=18)
  • Occupancy status:
    Six students have moved into Ikenoue Dormitory, which is a male-only dormitory with 54 rooms.
    Six students have moved into rooms furnished with a bed at the apartment(s) run by Hiroshima University Coop. 

3. Providing prompt support to the international students

(1) Supplying halal-certified food with the students

  • On Monday 9th July, following free supply of food was distributed to about 150 international students at Hiroshima University: 
    - 120 cans of emergency food that were stored in the stock depot of Hiroshima University Hospital 
    - 770 “Momiji-Manju” (small, maple-leaf-shaped sweets) etc.
Comments from HU international students
  • I think it’s great that the university provides the international students with such support at the time of emergency. The quality of the supplied food was good too. I really appreciate the university for giving support like this.
  • I really would like to thank the university for giving support like this. Should there be any more disasters in the future, I would very much appreciate if you could respond to the situation quickly and disseminate information in more effective manner.

(2) Disseminating emergency information in Japanese, English and Chinese on the university’s website

Comments from HU international students
  • As a globalized university, I hope HU will continue to provide information in multiple languages.
  • When a disaster like an unprecedented downpour strikes, I think it helps me/us feel more secure when the University provides us with the latest information about the damage caused by the disaster in Chinese. This is especially so for those students who live far from the university, when they are informed of the information such as the extent of the damage as well as available bus services in Chinese. ​

4. Student volunteers

(1) How it was operated

  • Volunteer activities were organized with the following student-run organizations acting as a point of contact: “Operation Tsunagari (at Higashi-Hiroshima campus)” and “COCO (at Kasumi campus).”
    A total of 1,301 people participated in the volunteer work between Wednesday 11th July and Monday 24th September

(2) Hiroshima University’s support for the volunteer activities

  • To support the activities above, Hiroshima University has chartered the following vehicles:
    - 3 medium-sized buses with each bus having a capacity of 28 seats
    - 37 small-sized buses with each bus having a capacity of 25 seats
    - 1 nine-seater jumbo taxi 

5. Medical relief

(1) Accepting patients

  • Accepting 18 disaster-related patients between Friday 6th July and Sunday 8th July

(2) Dispatching medical teams

  • Dispatched a total of 260 people/medical staff members for the period of 97 days. The following teams have been dispatched:
    Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), Hiroshima Prefecture Emergency Medical Task Force Coordinators, Japan Medical Association Team (JMAT), Infection Control Team, Emergency Medical Nurses, Disaster Psychiatric Assistance Team (DPAT), Japan Disaster Rehabilitation Assistance Team (JRAT), Oral Health Care Team etc. 

6. Investigation and Research (Establishing Hiroshima University Resilience Research Center)

(1) On Wednesday 11th July, Hiroshima University Disaster Investigation Team for Torrential Rain of 2018 was established

  • Hiroshima University established “Hiroshima University Disaster Investigation Team for Torrential Rain of 2018" with the President as its head. The team is comprised of disaster prevention experts from HU. The team will aim to investigate and analyze the areas affected by the record-breaking torrential rain which has struck West Japan; make a proposal for reconstruction/rebuilding of the towns; and contribute to helping local government to deal with disasters and promoting regional reconstruction.
  • Upon commencing their investigation, the team was divided into the following four groups:
     “The Group for Debris Flow and Slope Disaster”
     “The Group for Hydrometeorological phenomenon and Flooding/Overflow”
     “The Group for Damage to Life Lines,” and “The Group for Public Health and Medical Care.”
  • President Ochi reported the center’s activities to the following parties concerned: Hiroshima Prefecture Governor Yuzaki on Tuesday 24th July, Mayor Matsui of Hiroshima on Thursday 26th July, and Mayor Takagaki of Higashi-Hiroshima on Thursday 2nd August. On each occasion, the President exchanged opinions with the attendees about the collaboration between the university and local governments concerned.
  • On Friday 27th July, the team made amendment proposals to Higashi-Hiroshima City concerning its transportation infrastructure following the July Torrential Rain 2018. The proposals was made to alleviate congestion and to lessen the confusion among the passengers at Higashi Hiroshima station.
  • The center held a report meeting twice on Tuesday 7th August and Thursday 6th September.

(2) On Thursday 20th September, Hiroshima University Resilient Research Center was established

  • Following the July Torrential Rain 2018, Hiroshima University Resilience Research Center (HRRC) was established as a new interdisciplinary research organization so that the Center is able to conduct investigation research on the disasters caused by torrential rain as such research topic cannot be handled by the conventional research field of disaster prevention and disaster mitigation. The center aims to establish the world-class research center that mainly specializes in research on synergistic torrential rainfall disaster,  and to pursue a cutting-edge interdisciplinary research concerning natural disaster science by networking with leading research institutions from Japan and abroad.
  • On Friday 5th October, the center held a conference meeting for the media, and gave presentations on seven research projects including the following:
    1) The project to elucidate the mechanism of synergistic torrential rainfall disasters and develop early warning system to prevent disasters from happening
    2) The project to conduct research on evacuation behaviors in case of torrential rain disasters
    3) The project to develop a non-contact soil moisture measurement system that can be used in the landslide areas utilizing remote sensing
    4) The project about transportation supply and demand management 
  • On Wednesday 14th November, a meeting entitled “Hiroshima University Resilience Research Center Community Collaboration”  was held with over sixty attendees in charge of Crisis Management Department from the following local governments in Hiroshima Prefecture: 23 cities and towns in Hiroshima Prefecture; Sasaoka city of Okayama Prefecture; Iwakuni city; and Waki-cho of Yamaguchi Prefecture. During the meeting, the Center talked about issues such as the directions it should aimed at for the collaboration with the local governments, the updates of its investigation and research, and its research projects. That was followed by a session of presenting case studies by the City of Hiroshima, Fukuyama, and Higashi-Hiroshima respectively. Following the presentations, the participants were given opportunities to exchange their opinions and to share information with each other.

*Please visit here for other downpour-related information in chronological order.


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