Q: What is the scariest disaster in your country? And please tell us about the damage and measures. あなたの国で最も恐ろしい災害は何ですか?そして、被害と対策について教えてください。

Q: What is the scariest disaster in your country? And please tell us about the damage and measures. あなたの国で最も恐ろしい災害は何ですか?そして、被害と対策について教えてください。

Masaki Seike

The Question is from: Tana(タナ)

Answer from Char350 (USA)

When I lived in Los Angeles, the most common type of disasters are wildfires. Fires not only directly burns down homes and the surrounding nature, but also hurts air quality that may extend to areas as far as hundreds of kilometers. The local government keeps citizens informed over the news, internet, etc. and announces mandatory and optional evacuations to affected areas.



For me, it has to be 2009’s Typhoon Ondoy disaster that hit Metro Manila in the Philippines with a massive flood and storm. My old house was flooded to the second floor, unlike the past storms which only flooded the first floor up to halfway, and I had no choice but to hold on to some of the stuff we had to save. In return, we had a lot of other things we couldn’t save that were all soaked in the flood water. It took several days for everyone affected by the floods to recover and get back to normal living.



Besides what happened to the Twin Towers back in September 11th, 2001, the scariest disaster I ever witnessed was when a house caught fire across the street from where I lived due to arson. It happened right in the middle of the night. I didn’t know the old man who lived there, but he was asleep while the fire burned and he died. The fire fighters managed to put the fire out, but the house was completely destroyed. I never felt so scared in my entire life.


 Answer from ZACK HULSE (USA): 

 At 8:32 a.m. PDT on May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens, a volcanic peak in southwestern Washington, suffers a massive eruption, killing 57 people and devastating some 210 square miles of wilderness.

Called Louwala-Clough, or “the Smoking Mountain,” by Native Americans, Mount St. Helens is located in the Cascade Range and stood 9,680 feet before its eruption. The volcano has erupted periodically during the last 4,500 years, and the last active period was between 1831 and 1857. On March 20, 1980, noticeable volcanic activity began with a series of earth tremors centered on the ground just beneath the north flank of the mountain. These earthquakes escalated, and on March 27 a minor eruption occurred, and Mount St. Helens began emitting steam and ash through its crater and vents.

Small eruptions continued daily, and in April people familiar with the mountain noticed changes to the structure of its north face. A scientific study confirmed that a bulge more than a mile in diameter was moving upward and outward over the high north slope by as much as six feet per day. The bulge was caused by an intrusion of magma below the surface, and authorities began evacuating hundreds of people from the sparsely settled area near the mountain. A few people refused to leave.

On the morning of May 18, Mount St. Helens was shaken by an earthquake of about 5.0 magnitude, and the entire north side of the summit began to slide down the mountain. The giant landslide of rock and ice, one of the largest recorded in history, was followed and overtaken by an enormous explosion of steam and volcanic gases, which surged northward along the ground at high speed. The lateral blast stripped trees from most hill slopes within six miles of the volcano and leveled nearly all vegetation as far as 12 miles away. Approximately 10 million trees were felled by the blast.

The landslide debris, liquefied by the violent explosion, surged down the mountain at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The avalanche flooded Spirit Lake and roared down the valley of the Toutle River for a distance of 13 miles, burying the river to an average depth of 150 feet. Mudflows, pyroclastic flows, and floods added to the destruction, destroying roads, bridges, parks, and thousands more acres of forest. Simultaneous with the avalanche, a vertical eruption of gas and ash formed a mushrooming column over the volcano more than 12 miles high. Ash from the eruption fell on Northwest cities and towns like snow and drifted around the globe for two weeks. Fifty-seven people, thousands of animals, and millions of fish were killed by the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

By late in the afternoon of May 18, the eruption subsided, and by early the next day it had essentially ceased. Mount St. Helens’ volcanic cone was completely blasted away and replaced by a horseshoe-shaped crater–the mountain lost 1,700 feet from the eruption. The volcano produced five smaller explosive eruptions during the summer and fall of 1980 and remains active today. In 1982, Congress made Mount St. Helens a protected research area.

Mount St. Helens became active again in 2004. On March 8, 2005, a 36,000-foot plume of steam and ash was expelled from the mountain, accompanied by a minor earthquake. Another minor eruption took place in 2008. Though a new dome has been growing steadily near the top of the peak and small earthquakes are frequent, scientists do not expect a repeat of the 1980 catastrophe anytime soon.

Even though I was born 5 years after this event This was the worse disaster in my area that I am aware of.


ネイティブアメリカンのMount StによってLouwala-Clough、または「喫煙山」と呼ばれています。ヘレンズはカスケード山脈に位置し、噴火の9,680フィート前に立っていた。火山は過去4,500年間に定期的に噴火し、最後の活動期間は1831年から1857年の間でした。1980年3月20日、顕著な火山活動は、山の北側面のすぐ下の地面を中心とした一連の地球の揺れから始まりました。これらの地震はエスカレートし、3月27日に軽微な噴火が発生し、マウントセントヘレンズはクレーターと通気口から蒸気と灰を放出し始めた。








Answer from MICHAEL (Australia) :

Every summer in Australia, it is the constant threat of bushfire. To give you an idea February 7, 2009, the Australian state of Victoria experienced as many as 400 individual bushfires. While the exact amount of land these wildfires scorched is disuputed, it is agreed the area burned was greater than 4,500 square kilometers (1,737 square miles). The fires also destroyed 2,029 homes, and killed 173 people. This was a scary time as at the same time where I live in South Australia we also had multiple bushfires in 2020 on Kangaroo Island Of the 440,500 hectare island, approximately 211,000 hectares has been affected by this fire. This affected not only the residents but the animals on island, over a third of the island is protected in nature reserves, home to native wildlife like sea lions, koalas and diverse bird species.



This page is solely created for "Uwajima World Link," Office Seike's weekly FM radio program on Wednesdays, 1:00 PM- 1:55 PM JST, broadcasting from Uwajima City, located in the southern part of Ehime Prefecture, Japan.
The questions we present here are from students from Ehime Pref. Uwajima Minami Secondary School in Uwajima City. They are eager to learn English & various cultures out there in the world.

We, Office Seike, strongly believe learning other languages and cultures brings broader perspectives and hints to local cities like our hometown Uwajima. Also, it helps us discover and appreciate our unique traditions and rich local cultures. We sincerely hope your answers to these students' questions inspire them, guide them, and let them be interested in you and your cultures.

Please leave us your comments and answers from below. 






Thank you in advance. 

Masaki Seike, Director.

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