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Assess and record immediate risks

In order to assess the immediate risks, develop risk statements. A risk statement explains how primary and secondary hazards might interrelate with vulnerabilities and exposure levels, with an immediate impact on different types of cultural heritage and people’s safety. For example: cracks in the ceiling may cause leaks in the event of heavy rainfall, thereby damaging historic interiors and frescoes directly underneath; or the absence of fencing and security systems may expose a monastery to the risk of looting. While preparing a risk statement, consider all possible links between vulnerabilities, primary and secondary hazards, and exposure levels that could increase the negative effects of the disaster (see figure below). Developing risk statements may therefore take time. This work can be carried out off-site, while you are compiling data. Primary hazard Heavy rainfall Secondary hazards Localised flooding; Power outage Vulnerabilities: Museum located in a low-lying area; storage for organic collections in the basement; roads are in a poor condition. Likely effects on heritage and people: Museum basement flooded, organic objects are wet; evacuation of staff and visitors delayed due to submerged roads; power outage prevents the opening of electronically-operated doors and windows; communication and emergency response are hampered; long-term power outage could cause mould to grow and damage the wet collections. 60 First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis | 1. Handbook Impacts of the Tohuku earthquake and tsunami: Japan On 11 March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the north-eastern coast of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It was followed by large and powerful tsunami, which inundated the coast of eastern Japan and flooded parts of the city of Sendai, including its airport and many traditional settlements. The earthquake also caused damage to a dam, resulting in a flood downstream. The tsunami resulted in oil spills, due to the overturning of containers, which led to fires; it also caused explosions in a nuclear power plant. In this case, the earthquake was the primary hazard, and it induced related secondary hazards such as aftershocks, a tsunami, floods, fires and a nuclear accident. Japan’s proximity to the sea, and its geo-location expose the country to hazards, such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Additionally, the presence of oil tankers and a nuclear reactor in the area proved to be vulnerabilities, which, in turn, caused fires and nuclear radiation. The combined effect of this chain of hazard events left more than 19,000 people dead, hundreds of thousands