Take our user survey and make your voice heard.
national

Quake death toll stands at 206; 8 of them died at evacuation centers

32 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

32 Comments
Login to comment

I would literally rather camp alone in a tent in the forest than spend a day in this room.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

"Authorities warned about the raised risk of infectious diseases breaking out among people crammed into shelters. Food and drinking water supplies were short, especially initially. People slept on cold floors, some without blankets, amid dropping temperatures and harsh winds. Sheets were hung for partitions."

Again, what is the point of evacuation centers, especially in a nation more than prone to natural disasters, if they are not at all prepared? And WHY don't they airlift (if absolutely necessary) people out of these crammed and ill-prepared places to other parts of the nation where they can be adequately cared for? Nice to know the hundreds of "emergency shelter" signs actually mean "potential graveyards".

1 ( +15 / -14 )

I would literally rather camp alone in a tent in the forest than spend a day in this room.

I would, too, but look at some of those people. Some of the elderly wouldn't be able to do that, so thank goodness for the shelters.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

I wonder why they don't convert shipping containers into temporary mobile (heated) homes for these people?

Maybe just 2 people to a container might help the congestion. Or a family could stay at one of these so that the elderly have more space at the shelters.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

These are high needs people, presumably in what is thought to be the safest building.

The damage outside in this particular area doesn't look too bad and it looks like the room they are in has lighting (=electrical power).

1800 houses unlivable is bad, but not that bad. The Japanese news seems to be saying 40 percent zenkai (collapsed or unsafe), 50 percent hankai (=damaged but safe and livable) in the worst affected areas.

The majority of people who evacuated, the number quoted was 30,000, must have gone back or be going back to houses that are damaged but are still structurally safe. The number needing rehousing mightn't be that high, and may well be under 5000.

The number of shelters used was quoted as 400 yesterday. Most countries in the world will not have 400 public buildings in sparsely populated rural areas for people to shelter in. Some older public buildings, old kominkan community centers and the like, are likely to have collapsed themselves.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

WesleyToday  04:40 pm JST

I wonder why they don't convert shipping containers into temporary mobile (heated) homes for these people?

Because there is a shortage of shipping containers at the moment.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Maybe just 2 people to a container might help the congestion. Or a family could stay at one of these so that the elderly have more space at the shelters.

Where are you going to set 15,000 containers properly and connect them to electricity and plumbing, and any other needed work to set them up properly?

Dont forget many of the elderly have relatives they count on for support with them, so just because it may look crowded, it just as well could be one or two families together.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

With the suffering of 1,000s ongoing and a huge shortage of necessities and access to proper care, the one thing that has never been raised is - what is the best craft to offer the best aid in this time of great need?

The suspended Osprey of course. It's remarkable versatility has been proven many times in emergency/disaster situations.

But it seems no one in authority wants to make the call that could help alleviate the hardships and pain being suffered at the moment.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The doors of the evacuation centers are being left open for 'ventilation to prevent infection'. Evacuees are being told to sleep wearing masks. All this to prevent the usual winter cold & flu in a highly stressed and displaced group of people. No wonder we see these sad, unnecessary deaths following evacuation.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I would argue that using ferries with accommodation (similar to that barge being used to house the middle eastern asylum seekers in the UK) which could be floated around to wherever there was a need in Japan (basically everywhere has a coastline in Japan).

The other alternative would be to offer free railway tickets to locations where there is better rehousing equipment for those who don't need to be in the location for the near future, and the government can compensate the local authority that is rehousing the evacuees

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This has to stop, Citizens deserve better in a nation that suppose to be the 3rd largest economy.

Keeping people in shelters similar to the Gaza Refugees is TOTAL UNACCEPTABL.

Move these people to temp housings, apartments, ASAP instead of having them sleep together in an open space watching each others all day long, this has been going on for too long and IT MUST STOP.

Instead of throwing cash in Europe for a worthless war how about spending that cash on the JAPANESE CITIZENS.! the very same people that paid all this cash in TAXES.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

David "" I would literally rather camp alone in a tent in the forest than spend a day in this room.""

A hundred %

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

The evacuees know they're likely to get sick the way they are being 'housed'.

https://twitter.com/mayatine/status/1743803511501205939

1 ( +2 / -1 )

 "" I would literally rather camp alone in a tent in the forest than spend a day in this room.""

You might wake the bears and become bait.

Seriously, the picture looks alright to me. All things considered. Could be much better. Or on the other hand, could be a tent in the freezing snow. Regardless, I can't help thinking much more could be done.

Have the helicopters been sent yet.?.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

X

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@Villanova, there are no trains to the disaster-struck area; they stop at Nanao. And roads are still severely damaged.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The J-Gov has sent teams of rescue workers and there are hundreds of volunteers involved in the search and recovery. How many counselors have they sent to the evacuation centers to help these people who have just lost everything?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I don't think these shelters are that bad. They're relatively warm, safe and have the essentials they need to survive.

The few number of people that died in the shelters is a testament to some of the evacuees being very old and frail.

Evacuation centers might be a little uncomfortable but I'd be grateful as hell to be in one of these if a natural disaster left me homeless.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Compared to the earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, these folks are doing a hell of a lot better, and those folks had it a hell of a lot better than the one's who went through the Hanshin/Awaji earthquake.

People are always going to complain that help was there yesterday for these victims. These people are resilient and the government and countless numbers of others are busting their butts working to get them the support they need.

At least these folks aren't in a tent, in the forest, freezing to death and waiting for the bears to eat them!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Again, what is the point of evacuation centers, especially in a nation more than prone to natural disasters, if they are not at all prepared? And WHY don't they airlift (if absolutely necessary) people out of these crammed and ill-prepared places to other parts of the nation where they can be adequately cared for? Nice to know the hundreds of "emergency shelter" signs actually mean "potential graveyards".

god, I truly wish you THINK before you post comments. Airlift? Really? Well, sure, let’s airlift the evacuees using a helo which at most can carry 3-4 people max. That would require what 100 lifts? Then, to where you going to send them? 100 helo requests to fly them out? How long is that going to take, how much, who gets the lift?

Many of these people are elderly, you ever think how they’re going to hold up on airlifts as well?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan's top heavy and inept bureaucracy is probably the problem here.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Many of these people want to be near their collapsed house to keep an eye on it and be around as owner if there is any movement by the local or national government. All their valuables and identification could well be buried. Also there must be a strong community spirit holding them together for the time being. One by one they may eventually make the reluctant decision to relocate, but that will be a slow process.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

re comments about helicopter lifts and aid brought in.

I already made the comment earlier that all the Ospreys are sitting silent.

The Osprey is acknowledged as possibly the best disaster craft esp in difficult places that can be used.

They've been used successfully in multiple disaster zones.

But a turn around on their use would contradict the "Stern" orders of the Govt and make them look weak.

So no Ospreys.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“The pressures and stress of living in a place you aren’t used to lead to such deaths,” said Shigeru Nishimori, a disaster official in Ishikawa prefecture, the hardest-hit region."

Not to mention they may have lost friends, family members, pets, and livelihoods etc along with their homes and possessions. It's a lot to take, especially if you're already a little old and frail.

However, "(sleeping) on cold floors, some without blankets, amid dropping temperatures and harsh winds" where "Food and drinking water supplies were short," is far from ideal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many massive disaster had brought innumerable lessons to Japan during decades. 

But, LDP regime who dislike social security had learned nothing from its lessons and decrease disaster prevention budget gradually.

Poorness of Japan's evacuation places had criticized from decades before, but its improvement is very slow despite experience of many disaster, Govt's stopgap more increase victim.

Kumamoto quake 2016, deaths at evacuation places were over five times more than deaths by disaster itself.

Those are already man-made disaster.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Is the sea deep enough to allow cruise or large ships to dock?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I would guess that some of these people have lost pretty much everything (perhaps including family members), are poor, elderly or have mobility issues, and may be traumatised. Some may be staying away from homes until other family members can make them safe. Others may not want to stray too far from what is left of their possessions. And it is cold out there.

Leaving directly of your own accord would require you to pay for your accommodation elsewhere. That would soon add up. Pitching a tent in snow is not going to be pleasant. Although I would want to stay near my stuff and recover what I could.

An offer could be made, for anyone who wants to up sticks and simply move to somewhere else, of an aid package for relocation, including a market price payment for the home they are leaving. The authorities could then concentrate resources on those who want to return to where they were living.

As I said the other night, this would offer a face-saving opportunity for Osaka to cancel the Expo and move their workers to the quake site to help out. Although the SDF could presumably pile in and help. Keeping the doors of shelters open for ventilation will just cause people to die of hypothermia.

It's not a lack of cash but the scale of the problem that may be the issue. Japan may well have supplies stashed somewhere to deal with this - they just have to get them there. But running water, electricity and reconstruction are going to take longer. Perhaps a stash of prefab property components needs to be created, ready to be moved and quickly assembled on site. They can be replaced by something more house-like in due course.

Hotels are available (it's not tourist season), but using cruise ships for temporary accommodation is a good idea.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Keeping people in shelters similar to the Gaza Refugees is TOTAL UNACCEPTABLE.

Gaza is way worse than this. They are being constantly bombed, for starters.

The important thing here is to not view this through Western eyes. Yes, the shelters may look like hell on earth to you, but you are not an elderly inaka Japanese person. It is clear that some of the people in the shelters have houses that are still intact. They will be a mess inside, they mightn't have electricity, they probably don't have water, tens of thousands don't, but the houses are still standing. Younger folks who find shelters depressing have probably gone home already. But old folks don't find them depressing and realize that even if they went home, there is the risk of aftershocks, there is no water and they need to go to the shelter to get a bento, and god forbid, there is the possibility that if they are not at the shelter and the Tanaka family is, guess whose name will go down first on the list of people requesting rehousing. Just like everything else in life, earthquakes create relative winners and losers.

If you have not had a lifetime of communal living and group activities, your outlook will differ to those who have.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites