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Japan -Telecom symposium to learn from 3.11 disaster

Friday, March 16, 2012

An international forum has been held in the quake-hit northeastern Japanese city of Sendai to discuss telecommunication networks which can withstand natural disasters.

Government officials and experts from 55 countries attended the event organized by the Japanese government and the International Telecommunications Union, a UN agency for IT technologies.

The participants offered a silent prayer for the nearly 20 thousand victims who lost their lives, or are still missing, in the catastrophe.

ITU senior official Brahima Sanou noted that information-sharing is crucial for reducing risk during a disaster.
During the March 11 tsunami and quake, confusion and a power cut made it difficult for people to receive the necessary information on the disaster.

A Japanese group reported the results of their survey about the most useful telecommunication tools during the disaster.

It found cell phones were useful, but there was no way to recharge them. It said pay phones were working but there were too few of them around.

The head of NHK’s local station said the broadcaster should have called on people to evacuate more urgently. He said NHK is conducting an overall review of its procedures during a disaster.

A participant from Bangladesh said he was impressed how an FM radio station served local residents by conveying messages and information about the situation.

Friday, March 16, 2012