Process of housing damage assessment: The 1995 Hanshin-Awaji earthquake disaster case

Kei Horie, Norio Maki, Masayuki Kohiyama, Hengjian Lu, Satoshi Tanaka, Shin Hashitera, Kishie Shigekawa, Haruo Hayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Rebuilding of victims' livelihoods was a crucial issue in the restoration process in the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Disaster. Housing damage assessment influenced most of the rebuilding of the livelihood in the long term, because the Victim Certificates issued by the local governments based on the results of the Housing damage assessment was required to receive most of the individual assistance measures. In the process of Housing damage assessment, many complex problems arose, leading to extensive work on the part of the disaster responders. Consequently, a considerable number of victims were dissatisfied with the assessment and applied for a resurvey. Due to a flood of requests for resurvey, disaster responders had to work on damage assessment, leaving relief activities aside. In order to facilitate Housing damage assessment, this paper discusses the following five points: (1) the processes and the problems of assessments performed in the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Disaster, (2) the changes in the nature of information needed by the victims. (3) the improvements over the present damage assessment, (4) the housing situation in Japan, and (5) the international situation on damage assessment. It is obvious from the results that a poor damage assessment system and the size of the disaster produced a very large work load. Differences in appreciation among the investigators also contributed to unfair assessments and led to the victims being increasingly dissatisfied by the survey results. Finally, a design concept for a comprehensive damage assessment system, which has been derived from the above five points, is proposed for post-disaster management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-370
Number of pages30
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment process
  • Assessment system
  • Damage assessment
  • Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Disaster
  • Housing damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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