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Hygiene worsens in some shelters with evacuees not having had a bath since quake

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More than three weeks have passed since the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami hit the Tohoku region, but normalcy is still something very distant for many – especially the evacuees in emergency shelters.

Water and gas deficiency due to damaged pipelines in the earthquake aftermath remain one of the most severe problems. In many shelters, there is no water for baths or toilets.

Oshima, a small island off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture, has not had any tap water or gas since the day of the earthquake. Evacuees in the area have not taken a bath in all that time, despite a 83% recovery of water supply for the prefecture.

The hygiene in Onagawa, one of the most devastated cities in Miyagi Prefecture, is also becoming a problem. The norovirus began spreading in emergency shelters 10 days after the earthquake, affecting hundreds with abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

A full recovery of water and gas supply is still difficult in most of the damaged areas, especially in cities located along the coast. “We haven't even begun to plan where to place the new pipelines. It will take years until a complete recovery is seen in these areas,” explained an Miyagi prefectural government official.

According to a medical coordinator at the shelter, temporary baths are not well accepted by the older evacuees. “Older people refrain from taking a bath at such facilities – they aren’t used to the depth and shape of the bathtubs,” he said.

© Compiled from news reports

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

7 Comments
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So, are these the people who are to be evacuated to the Prince hotel? (or whatever the name of the hotel is that used to cater to the rich and powerful)

All this squabbling over how to use the donations while these evacuees could use help NOW makes me angry.

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3 weeks... it's time they quit the emergency shelters. It seems Japanese governement is repeating the mistake of Kobe : letting people in the ruined area too long. And relocating them much later, to places where they don't want to live. Why don't they do the contrary ? They should immediatelely move everybody from the shelters to hotels, rental flats, volunteer people's houses wherever in Japan, so these people can take a bath, have privacy, eat hot meals , well live in normal comfort and dignity. I'm sure there are vacant bedrooms in Japan for everybody and each shelter can relocate into a same town so they can meet everyday their relatives and neighbours. Some adults need to stay to rebuild and check how work progresses ? Maybe , but the kids and elderly have nothing to do there. They can go back to live in their towns later when new housing and facilities are installed and Winter is over. They don't have to camp during months in a gym and eat cold food. That's totally depressing and they are getting sick.

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So the problem is not that they don't have hot water or baths. It's old people don't like the bath's shape... Just go for sponge bath then.

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they aren’t used to the depth and shape of the bathtubs

Seriously?!?! Oh, FFS!

It would be more credible if they said they didn't have clean clothes to put on after getting themselves clean.

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According to a medical coordinator at the shelter, temporary baths are not well accepted by the older evacuees. “Older people refrain from taking a bath at such facilities – they aren’t used to the depth and shape of the bathtubs,” he said.

They should put this in an encyclopedia when describing "Stupid".

If they'd rather stink and have terrible hygeen, then let them. These same people probably complain when they get a sandwich instead of a onigiri.

They don't have to get in the bath if they "aren’t used to the depth and shape". Just shower them ffs!

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Older people refrain from taking a bath at such facilities – they aren’t used to the depth and shape of the bathtubs

On the telly last night they showed an old man in a wheelchair having his first bath since March 11, courtesy of a private-sector care group. The SDF had provided communal baths, but being unable to move unaided the old man had been physically unable to take a bath. Old people in Japan are totally used to bathing in deep baths, shallow baths, large baths, small baths... I find it hard to believe they abstain because they 'aren't used' to the depth and shape of the tub. More likely it's the infirm who are unable to use the big communal tubs - or any tubs, without help.

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"According to a medical coordinator at the shelter, temporary baths are not well accepted by the older evacuees. “Older people refrain from taking a bath at such facilities – they aren’t used to the depth and shape of the bathtubs,” he said."

Wow, I felt utterly horrible for the situation until that last part of the story. Now that I realize they may not have taken a bath while having the option, it's a wee bit harder. The circumstances are awful -- and as I am far from them I can only say that imaging how bad they are instead of experiencing it, but please... if that's all there is I hope people can accept it. As for the virus ravaging the shelters, that's terrible, added to the conditions of sanitation.

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