Damage of enterprises and their business continuity in the 2016 kumamoto earthquake

Hiroaki Maruya, Tetsuya Torayashiki

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Serious damages to enterprises as well as residences and infrastructure resulted from the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake. Important factories of the automobile, information technology, chemical, and other industries were located in the affected area. The nature of the damage was that there was significant damages to the building of enterprises located near the fault that caused the strong Earthquake. The geographical scope of damage to the enterprises was not very wide. The authors performed continuous research on the public announcements posted on the websites of the affected enterprises for several months, following up with news reports on damaged enterprises and on-site interviews. We found that a considerable number of enterprises supplied their products to their important customers from substitute sites to achieve their business continuity. On the other hand, many enterprises attained early on-the-spot recovery, which might be explained partly by the fact that recovery of essential utilities, particularly electricity and telecommunications, was relatively quick. The authors found many examples of effective utilization of the lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE). For example, some enterprises adopted the substitution strategy of business continuity management (BCM) that fulfills the responsibility to maintain supplies to the customers. Other enterprises that had experienced the GEJE avoided serious direct damage by having installed adequate earthquake countermeasures to their buildings and facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-695
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Disaster Research
Issue numberSpecial Issue
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun


  • Business Continuity Management (BCM)
  • Earthquake proof measures
  • Responsibility of supply
  • Substitute site

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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