Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes/typhoons/cyclones and floods are common threats for many societies on the Pacific Rim’s ‘Ring of Fire’.  To address these shared threats, the APRU Multi-Hazards Program aims to build safer and more disaster resilient societies through education, research and partnerships. To do this, the Program is working to harness the collective capabilities of APRU universities for cutting-edge research on disaster risk reduction and recovery, the sharing of strategies to cope with campus disaster risk management, and to contribute to international policy making processes on disaster risk reduction. In particular, the Program focuses on better strategies to deal with low-frequency high impact disasters. The APRU Multi-Hazards Program builds upon the strengths APRU Multi-hazards symposia over the past decade in countries spanning the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’. An APRU program hub has been established at the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) with an International Core Group chaired by Professor Yuichi Ono and coordinated by Associate Professor Takako Izumi of Tohoku University leading the program. A key milestone for the Program is to develop a strong presence and contribution to the UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction in March 2015 to be hosted in Sendai, Japan. To facilitate this, Tohoku University is hosting an annual summer school for disaster risk reduction for APRU university faculty, staff and students to complement the annual Multi-Hazards Symposium to be hosted by University of the Philippines in 2015.

DRR Expert Field Trip and Meeting with Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture and Tohoku University

Sendai City and Miyagi Prefecture in collaboration with IRIDeS, Tohoku University and APRU partner to strengthen Global Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Capacity

DRR experts and researchers have been invited to visit sites affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in Miyagi Prefecture from February 28 to March 1. This field trip aims to facilitate sharing of lessons-learnt from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and enhance local and national DRR capacity. The aim will be to share insights how the experience gained from the actual event and the immediate and on-going recovery activities can contribute to understanding disaster risks, the importance of DRR education and passing on experiences to the next generation.

Prior to the field trip, on February 27, the APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Program Hub hosted by Tohoku University will organize a meeting to share best practices to increase DRR capacity and advocacy on regional and international levels building on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Experts will explore how scholars and international organizations can increase advocacy and identify tools and resources needed to strengthen global collaboration and international policy influence.

APRU-IRIDes Workshop on Building Disaster Resistant Universities 2018

Is your university ready for the next natural disaster?

2nd APRU-IRIDes Workshop on Building Disaster Resistant Universities
Tohoku University, Japan, 3-5 April 2018

Organized by Campus Safety Program, APRU-IRIDes Multi-Hazards Program, this workshop consists of a two-day session and one-day site visit to areas affected by the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.


  • Share experience of disaster preparedness on campus, identifying issues and challenges
  • Discuss how to strengthen universities’ current management plans
  • Highlight areas of disaster management—chemical/technological, pandemic, and environmental hazards

A Global Outlook on Disaster Science

On November 20, Elsevier has launched an important new report, A Global Outlook on Disaster Science, in partnership with global experts and leading international institutions, including APRU.

The report displays an analysis of global disaster science scholarly output and specific topics being studied within research on different types of disasters. One of the most novel analyses presented in the report is the examination of disaster science in the context of the human toll and economic burden of natural disasters. The study also provides more insights on disaster science research conducted in 10 individual countries, in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, revealing which disaster types are researched and where.

To view some key findings of the report, please see the relevant Infographic and white paper.
Click here to download the full report.

2017 World Bosai Forum

In November 2017, the inaugural World Bosai Forum gathered experts from around the world to further the Sendai Framework. Requested by the UN, the Framework is part of Japan’s commitment to disaster risk reduction (DRR).

The World Bosai Forum was held in Sendai, in the Tohoku region—a place with symbolic meaning. The Tohoku region was the worst-hit area of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The Forum in part shares the Japanese experience of reconstruction.

At the Forum, ARPU held an afternoon session on Monday, November 27, “strengthening contributions to the international community through multi-disciplinary disaster science research.” The session was led by APRU’s Multi-Hazards program, which aims to confront the complexity of DRR, an issue which crosses many borders, by creating a network across levels, regions, and sectors.

APRU Multi-Hazards Summer School 2017

The 5th APRU MH Summer School was held on 18-21 July at Tohoku University. This year’s focus was “Effective investment in disaster risk reduction for resilient society”. Students and faculty interested in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and management have joined this event. 

Major objectives: 
- Understand the mechanism of the international DRR strategy 
- Learn from the experience and recovery process from the 2011 Great East japan Earthquake and Tsunami 
- Learn from various DRR projects that have been implemented in the Tohoku region and overseas 
- Discuss the role of science and technology as well as universities in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 

2017 GNSS Tsunami Early Warning System Workshop

The Global Navigation Satellite System Tsunami Early Warning System (GNSS-TEWS) workshop was held in July 25-27, 2017 at Sendai.

The past decade has witnessed a terrible loss of life related to large earthquakes and resultant tsunamis in the Indo-Pacific region. New and experimental algorithms based on GNSS data and science now exist to rapidly determine the likelihood that a tsunami will be generated from a large earthquake, to predict their extent, inundation, and run-up, and to track the tsunami as it propagates through the ocean basins.

During the workshop, academics assessed what resources would be required to develop real-time GNSS through the Pacific-Rim. In doing so, researchers helped determine the usefulness of the technology, a needed measure before implemtation can be considered. 

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