Half of the 2,150 adults surveyed by the Cabinet Office in September said they have not seen or heard of disaster-prevention maps, while more than two in five said they don’t know if there are disaster-prone areas in their neighborhoods.

The Cabinet Office said the public in general does not see disasters as an immediate concern and will thus revise the way disaster-prevention maps are publicized.

The survey highlights clear regional divides in terms of public awareness of hazard maps and disaster-prevention maps, which are created by government authorities to counter earthquake and flood damage.

While some 40 percent of residents in regions featuring bolstered quake countermeasures, such as the Tokai and southern Kanto regions, were unaware of the maps, the figure jumped to 60 percent in Kyushu and Shikoku.

Almost 58 percent of the pollees either did not know about or did not bother to participate in disaster-prevention drills. Those who said they were willing to volunteer in times of disaster fell 4 percentage points from the last survey, conducted five years ago, to 68.6 percent.

This suggests public interest in these activities has declined since the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, which left some 6,400 people dead.

The disaster-prevention opinion poll was conducted in September on some 2,150 adults nationwide.

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