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Japan beyond 3.11 Stories of Recovery

GREAT EAST JAPAN EARTHQUATE PROJECT NHK WORLD

Communication Crisis in Disaster

Aired: July 12, 2011
“I can’t place a call!” “I can’t send an e-mail!” Immediately after the March 11 earthquake, phone lines were jammed as everyone tried to contact family and friends. With communications restricted and some networks down, people became worried and confused. In Tokyo, a loss of power at a telecommunications base station was triggered by a regional blackout. It was later discovered that communication networks in the disaster region worked slightly better than in Tokyo immediately after the quake. With the mobile phone now a vital link between family members, the central government and phone operators are studying how they can ensure communication systems function better in a disaster. We report on their progress.
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