With the 11th anniversary of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake (Kobe and surrounding area) on 17th of January 1995 being today, I thought it would be appropriate to present this survey by the Japanese Government’s Cabinet Office regarding people’s opinions on earthquakes. Out of 10,000 people asked, 7,232 people completed questionnaires regarding earthquakes over a two week period at the end of September. Demographic information is available at the end of the survey. Note that for a change, because this was a personal interview-based survey the age spread is much broader than most of the internet-based polls I present. All questions were answered by all 7,232 respondents.
For the last few years, at least once every couple of months there has been a special on TV regarding earthquakes, covering in particular how everyone is going to die horribly when The Big One hits Tokyo. In amongst the tabloid sensationalism is, however, the occasional nugget of useful information. Two nights ago, for instance, they covered how to escape from a lift stuck between floors, then emergency toilets, including how much water is needed to flush a standard three-jobbie plus loo roll down to the nearest main sewer pipe (five litres to go 15 metres, in case you’re wondering and I’m remembering correctly).
This survey was taken before the Aneha scandal blew up, so perhaps if this survey was repeated today, the answers would be rather different.
Although the above-mentioned Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake happened before I came to Japan, I have talked to a number of people who were living in Kobe at the time, and almost everyone had some tale of personal or family-related disaster that really impressed upon me the human scale of the disaster. I recommend anyone with the opportunity to talk to someone from the area to sensitively enquire about their experiences.