Vol 8, No 2 (2023)
Letter to the Editor
Published online: 2023-06-12

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Disaster and Emergency Medicine Journal

2023, Vol. 8, No. 2, 126–127

DOI: DEMJ.a2023.0022

Copyright © 2023 Via Medica

ISSN 2451–4691, e-ISSN 2543–5957

Why mitigation measures are less considered in disaster management in low-income countries?

Shandiz Moslehi12Sajjad Narimani23
1Health Management and Economics Research Center, Health Management Research Institute, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3Department of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Nursing, Social Determinant of Health Research Center, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran

Address for correspondence:

Sajjad Narimani, School of Health Management and Information Sciences, No. 6, Rashid Yasemi St. Vali-e Asr Ave, Tehran, Iran

phone: Tel: +98- 9143550388, e-mail: sn.narimani@gmail.com

Received: 24.04.2023 Accepted: 17.05.2023 Early publication date: 12.06.2023

This article is available in open access under Creative Common Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license, allowing to download articles and share them with others as long as they credit the authors and the publisher, but without permission to change them in any way or use them commercially.

Abstract

After the earthquake in Indonesia and Japan, the governments gathered in Kobe and pledged to prioritize the following measures in their countries: Ensuring that disaster risk reduction is a national and a local prio­rity with a strong institutional basis for implementation. Identifying, assessing and monitoring disaster risks and enhancing early warning. Using knowledge, innovation, and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels. Reducing the underlying risk factors. Strengthening disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels. Also, in the Sendai Framework, they committed that the risk perception should be the priority of governments and should be considered in all civil structures. In this letter, there are reasons that can reduce mitigation measures of governments in earthquake-prone countries.

Key words: earthquake; mitigation measures; disaster management

Disaster Emerg Med J 2023; 8(2): 126–127

Dear Editor,

countries that are located on earthquake faults, according to the Hugo document, should consider proper management of the resilience of building structures so that the loss of life and property after an earthquake is as low as possible. Also, the first and most important action in the Sendai framework is the commitment of governments to risk perception against all possible hazards and strengthen the governance of risk management. But looking at different countries, we see differences in the implementation of these commitments [1–4].

A country like Japan has strengthened the resiliency of the structures against earthquakes of eight to eight and a half magnitude by fortifying the building structures, so that this intensity of the earthquake brings the least financial and life losses for the residents of this country. And finally, an eight-magnitude earthquake is not considered a disaster for this country [5–7].

The most important lessons learned from the actions of the Japanese government for other earthquake-prone countries are:

  1. Having a holistic preparedness (Scenario, Exercise, Exercise evaluation) to disaster reduction management.
  2. Investing in the mitigation phase is important (structural and non-structural measures), but is not a substitute for preparedness
  3. Extensive cooperation of all governmental and non-governmental sectors

But why do low-income countries in the Middle East try less to mitigation measures to reduce earthquake impact? Because the results of mitigation measures are not obvious in the short term, so governments in these countries are more eager to do things that have an immediate answer. For this reason, most government measures in these countries are in the response and recovery phases. On the other hand, the weak and one-dimensional economy of these governments has also weakened investment in the resilience of building structures.

The recent earthquake in Turkey, caused a disaster and catastrophe status and requested international aid from the government of this country, if it happened in Japan, it would have been managed by the local and national governments.

It is very painful to hear about the death of more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria at a time when all governments should adhere to the Hyogo and Sendai framework. Appreciating all measures taken in the response and recovery phase, the need to invest in the resilience of structures in these countries is quite clear. Therefore, international organizations and high-income countries should help the governments in these countries to fulfill their commitment to the Sendai document. And the governments of these countries should be forced to implement their obligations in the field of mitigation and structural resilience.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no conflict of interest.

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