The Sewol Ferry Disaster: A Close Look at South Korea’s Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Management System


Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 6:15pm to 7:30pm


Cason Conference Room, WAPPP, Room 102/Taubman Building, 1st Floor, Harvard Kennedy School

Please do not miss this opportunity to learn more about the South Korean disaster preparedness and crisis management system by taking a close look at the Sewol Ferry disaster with Professor Arnold Howitt, Faculty Co-Director of the Program on Crisis Leadership and Senior Adviser at the Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School.

The Sewol Ferry disaster is South Korea's worst-ever maritime tragedy. 304 people, mostly teenagers on a high school trip, died when the Sewol ferry sank on 16 April 2014, touching off an outpouring of national grief and soul-searching about long-ignored public safety and regulatory failures. Even though the vessel took around three hours to sink, those on board were not rescued or ordered to evacuate. Investigations into the disaster concluded it was largely man-made – the cumulative result of illegal redesigns, cargo overloading, the inexperience of the crew members steering the vessel, lax government regulations, and poor rescue efforts. The event mushroomed into a political storm of criticism of the government’s performance, contributing to the impeachment of Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Pizza and beverages will be provided.

Please RSVP at the following link, as a short reading material will be sent out to expected attendees prior to the talk:

This event is co-hosted by the Crisis Management PIC, the Program on Crisis Leadership (jointly affiliated with the Ash Center and Taubman Center), and the Korea Caucus at Harvard Kennedy School