Earthquakes, typhoons, and other natural disasters

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To learn about how to prepare for the following disasters, please refer to our materials below, and familiarise yourself with the excellent content available on the Nagoya City website at

The Nagoya City Fire Department also has an excellent publication titled “Disaster and Fire Prevention Guide – Nagoya City” which can be downloaded as a 16-page PDF document from this link. It covers various types of disasters, and includes a convenient list of important contacts.

In particular, the following things are important;

  • Evacuation
    • Knowing when to evacuate.
    • Being ready to evacuate at all times (emergency bags/supplies etc.).
    • Knowing where to evacuate to.
  • News and Information
    • Knowing how to stay up-to-date.
    • Knowing how to let authorities and people know that you are OK.
  • Emergency Procedures
    • Just about every venue, workplace, school etc. has an emergency plan in place. Know these procedures well to increase your chances of survival.

At 3:38 on the morning of January 13th, 1945 a strong, shallow earthquake of magnitude 7.1 struck the Mikawa Area of Aichi Prefecture, 40 km south-east of Nagoya. It was felt as far away as Hiroshima. For 3 days after the earthquake, there were more than 30 sizeable aftershocks. The earthquake itself was considered an aftershock of the magnitude 8.0 earthquake that occurred off the southern coast of Mie just 37 days earlier. The earthquake centered just outside of modern day Nishio, killing 756 people and damaging or destroying nearly 6 out of 10 buildings in the city alone.

Geologists estimate that there is a strong possibility that a another very powerful earthquake, like the one above, will strike the Tokai Region (Gifu, Aichi, Shizuoka) in the near future. September 1st, the anniversary of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, is known as Disaster Prevention Day. If you come from a part of the World where earthquakes are rare, now is a good time as any to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the BIG ONE.

Emergency Broadcast Telephone Service

Check the content of announcements over the City of Nagoya’s emergency speaker system… via phone!

Be prepared for Tropical Cyclones (Typhoons)

Tropical cyclones, or typhoons, cause strong winds and large amounts of rain, and can carry enormous destructive potential.

Keep an eye on the weather

The Japan Meteorological Agency website is a great resource for keeping yourself informed of the latest weather information in English, with real-time risk maps

Japan Life Guide app – Information you need for life in Japan, at your fingertips

The Council of Local Authorities for International Relations provides a free app in 14 languages with information for your day-to-day life and disaster situations

Changes to Evacuation Information

The naming of the three kinds of Evacuation Information issued in emergencies has been revised

The City of Nagoya Disaster Preparedness App – Now with new functions!

The City of Nagoya Disaster Preparedness App provides information on disasters affecting the City of Nagoya, including the estimated extent of damage and evacuation areas

Changes to evacuation procedures: Safety Evacuation Areas and Shelters

As a result of the lessons learned from 2011’s Great East Japan Earthquake, the procedures for evacuating in a disaster have changed.

Be prepared – Prevent your furniture from falling over

To prevent furniture from falling (and pinning you underneath) in an earthquake, take measures to fix furniture in place.

Be prepared – Stockpile food and drinking water for emergencies

Should a major earthquake occur, access to food, water, and other necessities may be cut off, and distribution may take several days to resume.

Be prepared – Keep your Medicine Handbook with you

Make a habit of carrying your medicine handbook with you.

Earthquake and Tsunami Hazard Maps

Earthquakes occur frequently all over Japan. In addition, areas located close to the shore are exposed to the risk of tidal waves (tsunami). The Nagoya Fire Department will be sending out maps to residents by post which indicate hazard zones. Earthquake maps will be sent to all residences, and tsunami hazard maps will be sent to tsunami damage prone areas only.

Useful Japanese: Evacuation Shelters

Some useful Japanese phrases to keep handy for emergencies which involve evacuation and emergency shelters. Also useful for Japanese people to keep handy, as it shows English, Romaji (romanised pronunciation), and Japanese versions.

Earthquake Situations: Bus & Car

What would you do if an earthquake struck while you were on the bus, or while you were driving? As always, it’s important to remain as calm as possible and follow some basic guidelines. Read on to find out more.

Emergency Warning – Tokubetsu Keiho – 特別警報

“特別警報”(pronounced tokubetsu keihou), or “Emergency Warning” in English, is a new warning classification formed by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) which began on August 30. We will summarise the key points in this article for you.


SHAKE OUT is an earthquake drill program which was born in California five years ago and has spread throughout the world with great success. It’s a great opportunity for individuals and organisations to familiarize themselves with their surroundings as well as physically going through the motions required for earthquake response.

Earthquake Situations – Subway Station & Train Carriage

A lot of emphasis is put on how to react in an earthquake emergency situation while in an office or at home, as that is where most of us spend most of our time. However, we should also recognise the importance of knowing what to do in other common situations such as waiting for a train in the subway, or being in a train’s carriage during transit.

Nagoya Municipal Minato Disaster Prevention Center

The center’s two floors have numerous interactive displays. Staff members are on hand to explain each display and answer your questions. Experience the Big One in the Earthquake Simulation Room, try to navigate through the smoke evacuation training room, and fly back to 1959 to experience Nagoya’s worst ever typhoon in the 3D simulation room. Unfortunately staff cannot speak English, but the simulations alone are worth the experience.

Listen and Download Disaster Prevention PSAs

Disaster Prevention PSAs from the Nagoya International Center address the unique and challenging situations we are presented with when a disaster strikes. Other than giving you advice on what to do in a disaster, the PSAs also introduce a variety of useful everyday items which can be put to use.

NIC Disaster Survival Tip – Plastic Wrap

Without running water it would be difficult to wash plates and bowls after eating and saving your cache of bottled water for drinking is important. So …

NIC Disaster Survival Tip – Water Storage

The most important item that you will need after a natural disaster is water…

Designated Tsunami Evacuation Buildings in Nagoya City

In order to protect human life in other coastal and low-lying areas of the city that may be affected by a tsunami, the City of Nagoya has designated certain buildings in these areas as tsunami evacuation buildings.

Maps of Shelters and Safe Areas

Download English versions of Nagoya City Shelters and Safe Areas – find out where you can go in case of earthquake, flooding, or other disaster.

First Aid You Should Know

First Aid You Should Know

Disaster Prevention Manual

The Nagoya International Center’s 3-part guide to surviving earthquakes, typhoons, and fires are available in 6 languages and can be downloaded in a printer-friendly PDF format.

Emergency Message System – NTT 171

To cope with communications difficulties in the event of an earthquake, authorities have designed a message bank in which you can leave and access messages to record information about yourself and confirm the safety of others.

To learn more about the Nagoya International Center,
please watch our video.

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