The Kobe Earthquake in January 1995 came about one year after the Northridge Earthquake in the US. Kobe had an epicenter 60 miles down, Northridge about 600 miles down. I estimate the Japanese spent almost $250 billion restoring their largest seaport–Kobe–post disasters while others assert it was only $150-175M.
I estimate that the new event may well reach $500B in total outlays by the public and private sector in Japan.
One of the issues that developed at Kobe was the failure to mobilize Japanese Military assets fast enough to help with basic issues like mass care–food, water, shelter, Emergency Medicine.
Well take a look at:
Over 100 million people on Japan’s largest island and with huge disruption of the energy grid, supply system generally, and transportation grid other than seaborne.
This is a really huge event and as we move into the 3rd day of its impact it is now clear that HONSHU Island in its totality will have major impacts and disruption on its economy and population. I am not knowledgable about Japanese civil Emergency Management but dealing with basic services for over 100 million people is a huge huge task. It cannot be done even with the help of the Japanese military without glitches.
So this is one to watch closely and see how well the combined team of Japanese civil servants and Japanese military go about caring and feeding over 100 million people. Are you watching this closely US polity? The world is now about to see what a truly catastrophic situation portends for their own nation-states either from causes based on warfare or Mother Nature.
I can tell you flatly that the “New” FEMA would not be up to a million man/woman event much less over 100 million. So let the US carefully document lessons learned and the entirety of the Executive Branch and the totality of the Armed Forces of the US.
If the US is going to help at all we better be leaning forwards NOW!