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The UP Resilience Institute and APRU-Multi-Hazards Program's Core Group Meeting and 6th Summer School

Last July 28, 2018, Dr. Emmanuel M. Luna - a UP Resilient Institute (UP RI) fellow and College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD) faculty, represented the UP RI in the Core Group Meeting of the Multi Hazards Program of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities -International Research Institute for Disaster Science (APRU-IRIDeS). The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) is “a network of 45 leading research universities from 16 economies around the Pacific Rim with 140,000 faculty members and 2 million students.”

According to apru.org, the official website of the association, the founding presidents of the institution envisioned to “establish a premier alliance of research universities as an advisory body to international organizations, governments and business on the development of science and innovation as well as on the broader development of higher education.” APRU-MH, one of the Programs of APRU, aims to “build safer and more disaster resilient societies through education, research and partnerships.” It works to harness the collective capabilities of APRU member universities for research, strategy sharing and for contributing to international policy making processes.

During the core group meeting, Prof. Osamu Murao, of Tohoku University was introduced as the new chairperson for the Multi-Hazards Core Group, while Dr. Takako Izumi of Tohoku University’s IRIDeS, Prof. John Rundle from the University of California, and Prof. Christina Schonleber gave a review of MH Program’s current and planned activities.

37930272_10217701172348062_3210717649826742272_n.jpg37938217_10217701171988053_6517144746014539776_n.jpgAPRU-MH Core Group Meeting.

Prior to attending the Core Group Meeting, Dr. Luna also participated in APRU-MH’s 6th Summer School last July 24-27, 2018. The workshop-training whose theme was: “Applying science, technology and innovation in disaster risk reduction”, was held at Tohoku University, Japan. It hosted 28 participants from 9 countries, namely Afghanistan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore and Turkey. The workshop-training included a presentation of disaster risk reduction (DRR) researches and initiatives by APRU member universities, a discussion on the lessons-learnt from the Great East Japan earthquake and Tsunami, a field trip to the affected site of the earthquake and tsunami and a discussion on the international framework for DRR.

38072251_10217701168587968_6432087741965533184_n.jpgParticipants of the 6th APRU Multi-Hazard Summer School.

37837617_10217687012154066_886096068637360128_n.jpg37904691_10217687021994312_8098177999297314816_n.jpgStory of two schools: one that is 4 kilometers away from the sea but near the river and hills had 76 pupils and 10 teachers died in the 2011 tsunami. On the other hand, a four storey school close to the sea but isolated by the tsunami flood had just one casualty. The difference: the children would have been saved if the teachers and students evacuated to the hills and did not stay in the flat ground of the first school; in the second school, there was an agressive command to evacuate to the fourth floor instead of staying in more spacious gymnasium that was eventually destroyed by tsunami. Lesson: know your risk in wherever you are and act appropriately when hazards occur.