People who have led teams coping with emergency situations around the world, were in Glasgow this week to share their knowledge at the Resilience Symposium organised by the Emergency Planning Society, and held at the SECC.
A key speaker was Bob Parker, Mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand when the first earthquake struck that city. He described the impact of the disaster on the community and explored the role of leadership required at the critical time. David Brunsdon, Director at Kestrel Group Ltd, Risk and Emergency Management company outlined the challenges for businesses recovering from the NZ earthquakes.
Dr David Johnston, Associate Professor and Director of the Joint Centre for Disaster Research, discussed the social and economic impact of the earthquake in Christchurch.
Eric Ouannes, General Director, Médecins Sans Frontières in Japan, dealt with the medical and humanitarian response to the relief effort in Japan after the recent earthquake and tsunami there. He examined the co-ordination, the challenges and the safety issues that had to be addressed.
Professor Patrick Regan, an expert in Radiation and Environmental Protection at the University of Surrey, focussed on the Japanese nuclear power crisis and its impact on the UK.
Emergency and resilience professionals from around Scotland and the rest of the UK, attended the new event which had an associated exhibition – Emergency Scotland 2011.
Singers and instrumentalists from Scottish Opera, the RSAMD and the University of Glasgow will raise funds to help Japanese people affected by the tsunami through a concert this weekend.
It will be held in Glasgow University Chapel at 3pm on Sunday 27 March. A donation of £10 is suggested but all donations large and small will be gratefully accepted.
Scottish Opera emerging artists, Marie Claire Breen; Michel de Souza; Rebecca Afonwy-Jones; Scottish guitarist, Sean Shibe; organist, Michael Bawtree; Armenian violinist, Ani Batikian and Glasgow University Choir with Chorus Master, James Grossmith, will perform. Their programme will include opera, songs of Scotland and Japan, extracts from the Faure Requiem and Japanese choir pieces.
Professor Graham Caie, Clerk of Senate and Vice Principal said: “The University has offered its deepest sympathy and practical support to all its Japanese students and staff who have been affected by the devastation and terrible loss of life in the events following the earthquake in Japan. The concert is another way that the University can show its support for Japan during this crisis.”
Sean Shibe, 19, the youngest winner of the Royal Overseas League String Award, said : “As a child growing up in Scotland with an British father and a Japanese mother, I was ever aware of the similarities and differences of the two nations. Both are countries proudly steeped in culture of very difference kinds. I often visit Japan, and even in childhood always ended up remembering those shrines of Kyoto, skyscrapers of Tokyo, and the million other wonders that my then-unappreciative eyes ended up permanently capturing.
“But as soon as nature shrugs, humanity’s achievements can be blown to dust, forgotten in that second it takes for devastation to be realised. We only have to read a newspaper to realise that lives are only ever one step from complete chaos – not only in this past fortnight, but on any day. All of us must understand that, situations aside, we share this commonality, we hold this similarity – and we should act upon this empathy.”
Scottish Opera/RSAMD Repetiteur Fellowship, Ayako Kanazawa said: “I am a survivor of the devastating Hanshin earthquake in 1995. Not only was the rescue operation difficult but also the reconstruction. It is a frustrating time for all Japanese in the UK all we can do is pray. But with this concert, I want to believe that our performance will have power to help suffering people in my beautiful country.”
The concert can be watched online on the Chapel Webcam at:
Concert proceeds will be sent to the British Red Cross who will in turn direct the donation to the Japanese Red Cross at: