Japan experts call for measures to deal with complex disasters caused by quakes

A group of experts who surveyed central Japan's Noto Peninsula, which was hit by a massive earthquake on New Year's Day, has called for preparations to be made to deal with complex calamities caused by quakes.

The Japan Society of Civil Engineers held a news conference in Ishikawa Prefecture on Tuesday, after it examined damage in the cities of Wajima and Suzu over a two-day period that started on Monday.

The group noted that the temblor caused buildings to collapse and other disasters, such as landslides, tsunami, soil liquefactions and fires. Those disasters occurred almost simultaneously.

Professor Imamura Fumihiko of Tohoku University, who participated in the survey, said Japanese people, wherever they live, should be prepared to deal with such complex disasters.

Imamura also mentioned an area in Suzu, where a tsunami caused extensive flooding. He said that a tsunami does not occur frequently on the Sea of Japan coast. But he noted that residents in the area evacuated swiftly. He said that likely happened because of their acute awareness of the dangers posed by disasters and the strong bonds in the community.

The professor also noted that relief efforts are being hampered by severely damaged major roads. He called for emergency transport routes to be made more resistant to earthquakes.

The Japan Society of Civil Engineers plans to outline and release a set of proposals based on the results of its survey.