More than 200 volunteers arrived Saturday in Atsuma town, Hokkaido, which was the area hit hardest by an earthquake on Sept 6. At least 400 more are expected to arrive by the end of the day, disaster relief officials said.
Because Monday is a national holiday, many people contacted the town during the week to offer to help in Atsuma for the long weekend, Fuji TV reported. A special volunteer center opened on Saturday morning, with at least 200 volunteers ranging in age from university students to men and women in their 60s and 70s, on hand.
The volunteers are helping remove destroyed items such as furniture and fittings from local residents’ houses, as well as move farm machinery, cars and trucks that had toppled over or been damaged. Others were clearing roads and cleaning up houses that had been hit by landslides.
Officials said most of the volunteers will be spending the nights in Sapporo during the long weekend.
Forty-one people died in the quake and 1,600 others remain in shelters; 36 of the dead lived in Atsuma.© Japan Today