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Kumamoto Earthquake, Six Months after

Six months have passed since the earthquake in April, 2016. JEN has been engaged in supportive activities since the aftermath. Nevertheless, the road to recovery is a long one, and we still have many victims needing support.

As of this October, 120 deaths including earthquake-related ones were recorded. The recorded damage to houses were: 8,849 completely destroyed; 30,809 half destroyed; 132,339 partially destroyed. Other than that, if damage to other property is included, overall toll will become really huge. As many as 8 municipalities are still providing 12 shelters, where 301 people are living the life of a refugee. Consequently, construction of temporary housing for victims is now underway. Even though 4,052 housing units have been built in 8 municipalities, they are not enough to supply the demand. Also, we must note that quite a number of victims are still living in their damaged houses or tents pitched in front of their houses.

Both private organizations and the government have implemented a variety of supportive activities for Kumamoto. When it comes to house-related support, the government subsidizes the cost of the demolition of completely or half destroyed houses, whereas private organizations help demolish the buildings that are ineligible for subsidies.

In each temporary housing complex, victims are making a collective effort to organize their own community, establishing a residents’ association or holding assemblies at a meeting place attached to the complex. Although each person who took part in supportive activities did their best to come up with ways to support victims, you can still see not only earthquake devastation remaining everywhere but also many victims in a difficult situation.

Six months having passed, the Kumamoto earthquake is nearly fading from people’s memory, but many victims are nonetheless making efforts to get their lives back together while busy cleaning away the rubble of their houses. The Kumamoto earthquake is by no means a thing of the past. Therefore, what we should do now is to express our renewed mourning for all people who died, and not to forget the victims who need our help.

JEN will continue helping the victims in Kumamoto move forward on their own.

October 20, 2016 in Kumamoto |