Japanese Vocabulary for Natural Disasters

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Looking for words and vocabulary involving earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons and other disasters in the Japanese language?

Japan is known for its vulnerability to natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, floods and landslides. Due to its geographic location, the country regularly faces these events and the inhabitants need to be prepared to face them.

Preparation includes knowledge of specific terms and words related to disasters, as well as recommended safety measures.

In this article, we are going to explore some of these words and terms used in Japan for natural disasters, to better understand how the Japanese prepare for and deal with these events.

We recommend using your browser's search engine to find the words you want, it's an extensive vocabulary list. (You can use CTRL+F)

We recommend reading:

The 10 Worst Earthquakes in Japan

Key warning terms in Japanese

These are the most important terms because they carry official weight and indicate the seriousness of the situation.

  • Notices (注意報 chūihō)
  • Alerts (警報 keihō)
  • Emergency Alerts (特別警報 tokubetsu keihō)
  • Bulletins (気象情報 kishō jōhō)

List of warnings and alerts

  • 風雪注意報 (fūsetsu chūihō) – Wind and snow warning
  • 強風注意報 (kyōfū chūihō) – Strong wind warning
  • 大雨注意報 (ōame chūihō) – Warning of heavy rain
  • 大雪注意報 (ōyuki chūihō) – Heavy snow warning
  • 濃霧注意報 (nōmu chūihō) – Dense fog warning
  • 雷注意報 (kaminari chūihō) – Storm warning
  • 乾燥注意報 (kansō chūihō) – Dry air warning
  • なだれ注意報 (nadare chūihō) – Avalanche warning
  • 着氷・着雪注意報 (chakuhyō chakusetsu chūihō) – Ice/snow accumulation warning
  • 霜注意報 (shimo chūihō) – Frost warning
  • 低温注意報 (teion chūihō) – Low temperature warning
  • 融雪注意報 (yūsetsu chūihō) – Melting snow warning
  • 高潮注意報 (takashio chūihō) – high tide warning
  • 波浪注意報 (harō chūihō) – High wave warning
  • 洪水注意報 (kōzui chūihō) – Flood warning

words involving disaster

  • 地震 (jishin) – earthquake
  • 震度 (shindo) – earthquake intensity
  • 震源地 (shin gendochi) – place of origin of the earthquake
  • 津波 (tsunami) – tidal wave caused by an earthquake
  • 避難 (hinan) – evacuation
  • 地震動 (jishin dō) – seismic movement
  • 地震発生 (jishin hassei) – occurrence of an earthquake
  • 地盤沈下 (jiban chinka) – ground subsidence caused by an earthquake
  • 緊急地震速報 (kin gi jishin sokuhō) – emergency earthquake warning.
  • 地震予測 (jishin yosoku) – earthquake prediction
  • 地震警報 (jishin keihou) – earthquake warning
  • 震源 (shin'gen) – origin of the earthquake
  • 地震傷害 (jishin shouga) – earthquake damage
  • 地震被害 (jishin higai) – earthquake damage
  • 津波警報 (tsunami keihou) – tsunami warning
  • 津波被害 (tsunami higai) – damage caused by tsunami
  • 風水害 (fuu suigai) – damage caused by strong wind
  • 台風被害 (taifuu higai) – damage caused by typhoon
  • 洪水被害 (kouzui higai) – flood damage
  • 山岳地震 (sangaku jishin) – mountain earthquake
  • 火山噴火 (kazan funka) – volcanic eruption
  • 土砂崩れ (dosha kzure) – landslide
  • 地盤沈下 (jiban chinka) – ground subsidence
  • 地すべり (jisuberi) – landslide
  • 雪崩 (yukibou) – snow avalanche.
  • 津波 (tsunami): tsunami
  • 火山噴火 (kazan funka): volcanic eruption
  • 洪水 (kōzu): flood
  • 山岳地震 (sangaku jishin): mountain earthquake
  • 地盤沈下 (jiban chin ka): subsidence of the ground
  • 土砂崩れ (doshabare): landslide
  • 台風 (taifū): typhoon
  • 雪崩 (yukibare): avalanche
  • 竜巻 (tatsumaki): tornado
  • 雷 (kaminari): thunderbolt
  • 雨 (ame): rain
  • 雷雨 (rayme): storm
  • 水害 (suigai): water damage
  • 風 (kaze): wind
  • 嵐 (arashi): storm
  • 津波警報 (tsunami keihō): tsunami warning
  • 緊急事態 (kin'gyō jitai): emergency situation
  • 避難 (hinan): evacuation
  • 救助 (kyūjo): help
  • 緊急給水 (kin'gyō kyūsui): emergency water supply
  • 避難所 (hinansho): emergency shelter
  • 消防車 (shōbōsha): fire truck
  • 救急車 (kyūkyūsha): ambulance
  • ヘリコプター (herikoputā): helicopter
  • 消防士 (shōbōshi): fireman
  • 救急隊員 (kyūkyū taiin): paramedic
  • 防災 (bōsai): disaster prevention
  • 災害 (saigai): disaster.

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