Utilizing population distribution patterns for disaster vulnerability assessment: Case of foreign residents in the tokyo metropolitan area of Japan

Bismark Adu-Gyamfi, Rajib Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Foreign residents in Japan are amongst the vulnerable groups at risk to disasters in the country. Improvement is crucial in meeting Japan’s vison of zero casualties in major disaster events. If the case of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina is to offer an insight into migrants’ characteristics in mega-disaster situations, then a broader analysis of vulnerabilities is needed to avoid mass casualties should the anticipated megathrust earthquake occur. Hence, this study analyzes the vulnerabilities of foreign residents by utilizing their spatial distribution attributes in the Tokyo metropolitan area. This study uses multiple approaches that combine geographic information systems to analyze secondary and primary datasets. The results reveal that foreign nationals are spatially clustered in some parts of the metropolis, especially within a 7 km radius of Minato city. The densities in these areas alter the earthquake community vulnerability levels from 1.23% to 2.8% and from 5.42% to 13.46%, respectively. Although only 11% of foreign residents are prepared for any disaster, there is a high sense of interaction amongst them and Japanese nationals, which almost eliminates isolation within communities. This study therefore proposes the utilization of some of these attributes in mobilizing specifically targeted evacuation procedures, management of evacuation centers, and disaster risk information dissemination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4061
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume18
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Disaster vulnerability
  • Migrants
  • Population dynamics
  • Tokyo metropolitan area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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