If the feared Nankai Trough earthquake comes true in the next few years, the Japanese government will be relying on a “secret weapon” it didn’t have before during the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995, and the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in 2011. They are now planning to “track disaster information” through GPS, mobile phones and social networking sites (SNS).
The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry said they are planning to collect data by using the global positioning data from people’s mobile phones, cars and also information from SNS accounts to get a further grasp and understanding of evacuees’ movements, traffic, and other crucial information in case of a major disaster. This is part of the government’s disaster prevention plan which is already being prepared & revised, and hopefully finalized before anything major strikes. Included in the plan is gathering information about flooding and landslides by using helicopters and satellites in case means by land will not be possible anymore. The enhancement of roads, airports and railway stations will also be one of the most important parts of the plan.
According to the interim emergency plan, priority for protecting lives will happen in the first three hours after an earthquake. The first 72 hours will be dedicated for rescue operations and transportation routes for emergency workers. The next 7-10 days will be dedicated to setting up routes for relief efforts to support the victims. The first month after the disaster will be spent rebuilding critical facilities in the area. The final plan will be compiled by the end of the year while the budget for this plan will be requested for fiscal year 2014 which starts April next year.