Yesterday, November 5th, Zamami Village conducted a large-earthquake and tsunami evacuation drill. At around 10:00, Zamami Village officials announced over the village P.A. system that they would be conducting an evacuation drill. At 10:30, the village office announced that there had been a large earthquake affecting all of Okinawa prefecture, and advised residents and visitors to pay careful attention to any following announcements. Naturally, at 10:33, officials announced that a tsunami was heading for Zamami and that residents should immediately head to the designated evacuation zones.
For all you Zamami visitors, potential and past, I would like to take a moment to outline evacuation procedures with regards to Zamami Island. As a rule of thumb, following any large earthquake do as the officials reminded residents during yesterday’s drill, and, “pay careful attention to any further announcements.” Whether this requires turning on a radio, checking your phone’s built in emergency warning system, or opening the window to hear the village P.A. system–do it. Disaster preparedness does not stop at simply listening to the announcements. Heed the announcements. Do as they advise.
In our case-study drill above, for those taking part in the drill, the appropriate action was to immediately head toward the evacuation sites. Where are said evacuation sites? Another safe bet in while traveling in Zamami is to head uphill. You would most likely end up at one of the designated sites.
To be specific, on Zamami island, the following are designated evacuation areas: the Takatsukiyama Observatory, Peace Memorial (on Takatsukiyama,) Ama Chiji (the ridge immediately next to Ama,) and the Kaminohama, Unajinosaki, Inasaki, and Chishi observation decks. Additionally, another point of refuge is at the top of the hill to and from Furuzamami Beach.