General report of the International seminar/国際セミナーレポート Days 1-6 (5-10/9/2017)

From 5th ~ 15th of September 2017, we had Tokyo University and Australian National University International Excursion on Earth and Planetary Environment. 15 students from Australian National University came over to Japan to study and understand the geological hazards.  

Day1-2 @Kashiwa
Day1: Greetings, AORI walking tour, and Welcome Party
[顔合わせ、ここからはANUU Tokyoの学生の混合グループで行動しました。]
[Introducing each other. From this day forward, students from ANU and U Tokyo were divided into 5 mixed groups]
[AORI tourの風景、学生達にAMSの説明をする横山先生][AORI walking tour with Prof. Yokoyama, explaining the AMS facility to students.]
Other than the AMS facility, we also looked at the breeding facility of marine biology.

[Welcome Party]

On day 1, we met 15 students and a professor from ANU. When we first met, we were all nervous to see new people with having some language barriers. However, after spending few hours of ice breaking sessions, we slowly started to know each other more and more.    
Day2: Lecture day (from Prof. Yoshio Takahashi, Prof. Phil Cummins, Prof. Satake, Stephen Obrochta, Ryoji Sato)
[Students learning many types of Geohazards through lectures]

[“What’s Consciousness?” 科学哲学の講義を英語でディスカッションする学生たち]
[What is Consciousness? Is Earth conscious? Some deep discussions on scientific philosophy.]

On day 2, we had some lectures from Prof. Yoshio Takahashi, Prof. Phil Cummins, Prof. Satake, Doc. Stephen Obrochta, and Project Assistant Professor. Ryoji Sato. All lectures helped us to understand the concepts of geohazards, and they were all necessary to be well understood before going to the field trip and see the actual sights.  

Day3-5 @Tohoku region
Day3: Visit to Tohoku University Onagawa field centre

[At Onagawa town, monument with writings of what should and shouldn’t do at the event of Tsunami (image on the left). Fences that were bent by the force of Tsunami (image on the right)]

Onagawa field centre which research about the marine biology in Tohoku region is a property of Tohoku University. However, the facility was destroyed by the Tsunami event in 2011. We visited the new Onagawa field centre that was reconstructed at the same location.

[At Onagawa Hospital on a hill. The red line on the pillar indicates the height of the Tsunami wave at this location]

Tsunami easily reached above our head. Surprisingly, this hospital is on a relatively high hill, which suggests that the Tsunami was unimaginably high. 

[夜、宿にて、1日を振り返るReflection Diaryを話し合って書いている学生たち]
[Discussion night]

Each day on the field trip, we wrote a group diary to reflect on what we saw and learnt that day. We were quite depressed after seeing many sights that were destroyed by the Tsunami and the earthquake, but we also knew that to visit, to see with our own eyes, and to listen to what people actually experienced are highly important. Seeing is believing.

Day4: Visit Karakuwa visitor centre (Tsunami-ishi guided tour), Iwanuma library (Geo slicer)

[At Karakuwa town, visit to Tsunami rock of Kami-no-Kura]

We have visited the Karakuwa town’s Tsunami rock of Kami-no-Kura. This rock was carried from somewhere in this bay by the strong force of Tsunami on 3.11.

[At Iwanuma public library, Prof. Yokoyama explaining the Geoslicer.]

When we visited the Iwanuma public library, we saw a display of Geoslicer which indicates many geological events such as the tsunami deposits and volcanic tephra including the latest Tsunami event (3.11) at the top.

[At the folk museum nearby, U Tokyo student explaining what’s on the display to students from ANU]

Day5: Visit to Yuriage Natori city, Arahama elementary school, Nakahama elementary school
[Hiyori Mountain at Natori city. This hill was completely submerged under the water when the Tsunami struck the city]

People who tried to evacuate from the Tsunami by climbing up the Hiyori mountain lost their lives since it was not high enough to save them from the violence by the water.

[At Arahama elementary school. Fences at first floor is destroyed by the water]

At Arahama elementary school, the ground floor and 40 cm above of the first floor was submerged under the water carried by the Tsunami. Classrooms on such floors were full of debris like cars and trees. After 3 hours since the evacuation, an emergency helicopter started to rescue the students one by one from the rooftop. It took over 24 hours to take everyone off from the rooftop, and it began to snow while they were waiting to be rescued. It was lucky that they did not evacuate to the gymnastic building which was located right next to this elementary school. As it was completely destroyed by the Tsunami.

[At Nakahama elementary school, listening to what the school principle experienced when the Tsunami struck]  

[The Tsunami reached to the sealing of first floor]

When the Tsunami warning was released, principle of the Nakahama elementary school decided not to follow the evacuation plan they previously had, which was to evacuate to one of the other schools across the town. He thought that rather than taking 100 students on blocky roads that were destroyed by the earthquake, it is safer to let them stay at school and evacuate up in the attic. This brave decision making saved all the student’s lives.  

Day6 @Kanagawa
Day6 : Free day, visit Kamakura

[自由行動日、鎌倉を訪れるANUU Tokyoの生徒たち]
[Free day, some students visited Kamakura]

Some of the students visited one of the Japanese old capital city Kamakura.