Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes/typhoons/cyclones and floods are common threats for many societies on the Pacific Rim’s ‘Ring of Fire’.  To address these shared threats, the APRU Multi-Hazards Program aims to build safer and more disaster resilient societies through education, research and partnerships. To do this, the Program is working to harness the collective capabilities of APRU universities for cutting-edge research on disaster risk reduction and recovery, the sharing of strategies to cope with campus disaster risk management, and to contribute to international policy making processes on disaster risk reduction. In particular, the Program focuses on better strategies to deal with low-frequency high impact disasters. The APRU Multi-Hazards Program builds upon the strengths APRU Multi-hazards symposia over the past decade in countries spanning the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’. An APRU program hub has been established at the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) with an International Core Group chaired by Professor Yuichi Ono and coordinated by Associate Professor Takako Izumi of Tohoku University leading the program. A key milestone for the Program is to develop a strong presence and contribution to the UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction in March 2015 to be hosted in Sendai, Japan. To facilitate this, Tohoku University is hosting an annual summer school for disaster risk reduction for APRU university faculty, staff and students to complement the annual Multi-Hazards Symposium to be hosted by University of the Philippines in 2015.

13th APRU Multi-Hazards Symposium 2017

The 13th APRU Multi-Hazards Research Symposium, entitled ”Innovation and Management of Disaster Risk Reduction,” was held at Peking University on August 28–29th, 2017. The symposium was hosted and organized by the Institute of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (IRSGIS), School of Earth and Space Sciences and co-chaired by Prof. Yu Liu and Prof. Qinghua Huang, from Peking University.

With wide participation across the Asia Pacific, over 100 scholars from more than 20 economies engaged in discussions of reducing disaster risk through enriching governmental management processes with the latest innovation in science and technology.

Prof. Lei Yan hosted the opening ceremony. Prof. Jingyun Fang, Director of Department of Science of Peking University, and Christina Schönleber, APRU’s Director Policy and Programs welcomed speakers and delegates.

2016 APRU – IRIDeS Summer School Report

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This year’s summer school was titled: Handing down disaster experience and lessons-learnt to the next generation”.

Please download the report to find out how the 2016 summer school met its core objective for participating students to:

  1. Understand the mechanism of the international DRR strategy
  2. Learn from the experience and recovery process from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
  3. Learn from various DRR projects that have been implemented in the Tohoku region and overseas
  4. Discuss the role of science and technology as well as universities in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

Click here to read about the news article.

Regional Innovation Forum-Asia (RIF-Asia)

APRU is partnering with the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN) and other like-minded organisations, institutions and networks to hold the first Regional Innovation Forum (RIF) this December in Bangkok, Thailand.

RFI – Asia is a creative forum to foster multi-sectoral partnerships to ‘solve the unsolved’ problems that are hindering disaster risk reduction (DRR) and humanitarian efforts in the Asia Region.

Dr Takako Izumi, Coordinator of the APRU Multi-Hazards Program, will be representing the association at the RIF-Asia taking place from December 6 - 7 in Bangkok.

4th Multi-Hazards Summer School Report


The 4th APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Summer School, organised by the APRU Multi-Hazards Program and hosted by the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University was held in Sendai from 19 to 22 July 2016. 

12th APRU Research Symposium on Multi-Hazards around the Pacific Rim

The Role of Science and Technology in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

Event Report

The 12th Multi-Hazards Symposium 2016, held at Kyoto University on 7th and 8th March, focused specifically on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), and aimed to discuss how science and technology advancement in combination with social science can strengthen the disaster risk reduction framework and how key priority areas can be addressed through these disciplines. 


President Juichi Yamagiwa, Vice President Junichi Mori and Prof Rajib Shaw welcoming delegates to the Symposium.

The key note session chaired by Prof. Rajib Shaw featured presentations by Prof. Kaoru Takara, Prof. Fuihiko Immamura and Prof. Hassan Virji – it provided background and an overview of the advancement of science and technology in DRR, highlighted lessons learnt from the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, and addressed challenges of developing and implementing solutions for DRR. Key messages echoed in all three presentations were the importance of multidisciplinary efforts and linking the development of solutions to policy development and implementation on the ground. 

Symposium Sessions 

Close to 100 delegates attended the Symposium which featured eight parallel sessions with 46 paper presentations and two plenary sessions over the two day proceedings. 


The four main sessions of the event each focused on one of the four key areas of the SFDRR; 

Understanding disaster risk

Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk

Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilence

Enchancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to 'Build Back Better' in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction

Campus Safety Workshop Report: Is your University ready for the next Natural Disaster?


The International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) held a “Building Disaster Resistant Universities ~Is Your University Ready for the next Natural Disaster?~” workshop February 2–4, 2016 at IRIDeS. Ms. Amy Aiken, Director of the Department of Emergency Management at Florida International University (FIU), was the invited trainer and facilitator, and more than 30 participants, including faculty, staff, and students from 16 universities in the United States, Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand attended.

The workshop discussed lessons learned from other universities, common challenges and issues, and tools to develop an effective emergency plan that introduces necessary improvements and enhances overall university preparedness.

See the Multi-Hazards web site for the full workshop report. 

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