ISSUE: What is an important issue that your company is currently facing? My name is Dermot Vibert. I work with Rio Tinto Japan. On March 11, 2011 I was in our office when we were hit by an extremely strong earthquake. Among the many issues we faced immediately after the earthquake was what would we do on the Monday morning when we had to supposedly return to the office and recommence business. CAUSE: What caused this issue to arise and why is it important?- Marketing The earthquake in the afternoon of March 11 was, although it struck 520 kilometers from Tokyo, it was an extremely strong one for us in Tokyo. The buildings shook severely two or three times, and then many, many times thereafter because of the aftershocks. On at least two occasions we had to go under our desks with our helmets on and literally hold on to the legs of the tables. It was that strong. The earthquake knocked out a lot of the power system, and as a result the trains were not able to function normally, and because there was not enough power as well, things like traffic lights, lights in buildings, etc., all these things were affected. There were many unknowns such as what damage there really was in the Tokyo area, for how long would trains not be running, would there be adequate food in two or three days time, what was going to happen with fuel supply, because when we were watching on television, one of the spectacular scenes we saw was a gas terminus on fire in the Tokyo Bay area, so we had a lack of information, and as a result there were many many uncertainties. We did not know if we could go home that day or not. In the end most of us did not go home. We stayed and had to travel the next day. It just was not a situation conducive to running a business in a normal environment. BACKGROUND:
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career path to date? My name is Dermot Vibert. I live in Japan. I have been there for 24 years. I went to university in Montreal, McGill University. I...
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