Former students of Sendai Ikuei Gakuen High School express gratitude to their host families in Hawaiʻi for taking them in after the 2011 tsunami impacted their hometown. They were at C-MORE Hale on the UH Mānoa campus for an event in advance of World Tsunami Awareness Day on November 5.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, in partnership with Tohoku University and the International Research Institute of Disaster Science, is hosting a disaster risk reduction conference, September 16–17. The event is a pre-event of the first United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s World Tsunami Awareness Day on November 5, 2016.

Jointly sponsored by UH Mānoa’s College of Social Sciences and the UH Sea Grant College Program, as well as IRIDeS, the two-day event is titled Communicating Disaster Science.

“The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Tohoku University have collaborated on research and scholarly exchanges since the 2011 Japan tsunami and earthquake. It is, therefore, especially meaningful to host this conference in coordination with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s first World Tsunami Awareness Day,” said Denise Eby Konan, dean of the College of Social Sciences at UH Mānoa. “We are also honored to present the U.S. premiere of The Great Tsunami documentary as part of these efforts. The film serves as a poignant visual reminder of the importance of the continued dedication of resources for the advancement of disaster science and risk reduction.”

Event highlights

Opening ceremony honoring the strong ties between Hawaiʻi and Japan
After the March 11, 2011 tsunami, children from the affected regions of Japan were brought to Hawaiʻi for respite. During this ceremony, three of these individuals will share their personal stories since the disaster and give thanks to the host families and the people of Hawaiʻi for their support.

Academic forum
At the forum national and international disaster science experts will share the most recent advances in tsunami research, risk reduction and community preparedness, including changes in the way that Hawaiʻi prepares for natural disasters, and the threat to the islands from Aleutian Island earthquakes.

U.S. film premiere of The Great Tsunami in Japan: Reflecting on the 2011 Disaster
The two-day conference will culminate with the U.S. premiere of The Great Tsunami, a poignant documentary exploring the magnitude of the March 11 tsunami through dramatic video collected immediately after impact. Woven through the footage are the personal stories of survivors and the humble but resolute spirit of these individuals who inhabit this disaster-prone region of Japan.

For more information, go to the College of Social Sciences news release.

people from Tohoku