The challenges and our response
Perched on the Ring of Fire, Japan is one of the most seismically active countries in the world. While Japan has one of the highest capacities to manage emergencies, the unprecedented scale of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake, tsunami and subsequent Fukushima nuclear crisis in March 2011 warranted international support.
International Medical Corps’ emergency response team was on the ground 48 hours after the earthquake and tsunami. Since that time, we’ve worked in support of the Government of Japan and local partner organisations to help communities impacted by the 2011 disaster fully recover. In April 2016, we had a team on the ground again in response to two earthquakes that rocked Kumamoto prefecture. The two earthquakes together killed 49 people and injured 1,400 and forced 181,000 people to evacuate their homes. Many moved into evacuation centres set up in schools, community centres and other available buildings. International Medical Corps, together with local authorities and organisations, responded to the needs of those displaced by the twin Kumamoto earthquakes, reaching approximately 2,500 people with relief and recovery efforts across 20 evacuation centres.
Today, International Medical Corps continues to collaborate with local organisations that provide for the immediate needs of families and individuals still displaced by the earthquake. In addition to providing direct services, we are helping to build the capacity of local response organisations so they are better able to respond to a future crisis