Earth Planets Space, Vol. 65 (No. 6), pp. 677-698, 2013
Christina Magill1, Thomas Wilson2, and Tetsuya Okada1
1Risk Frontiers, Macquarie University, NSW 2109,
2Department of Geological Sciences, Centre for Risk, Resilience and Renewal, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
(Received November 7, 2012; Revised May 16, 2013; Accepted May 19, 2013; Online published July 8, 2013)
The 2011 eruption of Shinmoedake, Japan, deposited
tephra across Miyazaki prefecture impacting both urban and rural
environments. We provide an overview of the impacts, management
and recovery of a modern city, infrastructure networks and a
diverse agricultural region following this moderate sized explosive
eruption, focusing on four key sectors.
Cleanup of tephra was time consuming, physically demanding and
costly for residents, businesses and municipal authorities. The
agricultural sector sustained large initial impacts with
smothering, loading and abrasion of crops, soils and greenhouses.
However, extreme concerns at the time of the eruption were not
realised, with farming operations experiencing limited long-term
effects. There were few disruptions to electrical networks due to
resilient insulator design, a successful cleaning program,
relatively coarse tephra and dry conditions. Cancellations and
delays occurred on three rail lines resulting primarily from
mechanical failure of track switches and loss of electrical contact
between train wheels and tracks.
Both residents and organisations exhibited high levels of adaptive
capacity in response to the event and utilised regional and
national networks to obtain information on past events and recovery
strategies. The combination of relatively short eruption duration,
well resourced and coordinated organisations and resilient
infrastructure networks contributed to a strong recovery.
Key words: Eruption, impacts, Kirishima, risk, Shinmoedake, tephra, volcanic ash, volcanic hazards.