Kumamoto-shi|experts deployed|assessing needs
International Medical Corps is on the ground in Kumamoto, Japan, where it is mobilizing support for local communities as part of the Government of Japan’s response efforts following the earthquakes that rocked the area late last week.
In coordination with local authorities, International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team assessed needs at four evacuation centers in Mashiki, Nishihara, Minamiaso, and Choyo, where they found that there were not enough latrines to accommodate the hundreds of people currently seeking temporary shelter. International Medical Corps is now working to provide emergency toilets and distribute personal hygiene items and basic relief supplies at evacuation centers throughout the affected area.
“The strong response from the Government of Japan is to be commended, and our team has witnessed the incredible strength and resilience of the Japanese people in the face of these earthquakes,” said Chris Skopec, Senior Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response at International Medical Corps. “International Medical Corps is deploying additional emergency response personnel to Kumamoto as well as recruiting local staff to scale up our efforts. As we learn the extent of the damage, we will work to support the government of Japan and our local partners as needed during the relief and recovery efforts.”
More than 181,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Kumamoto and are staying in shelters, community centers, and outdoors. Forty-one people were killed in the two earthquakes and another 1,000 were injured, according to local disaster management authorities. In Kumamoto Prefecture, the second larger earthquake caused buildings to collapse, road damage, and mudslides and disrupted power supply for 100,000 people and water supply for 400,000 people.
International Medical Corps was on the ground 48 hours after the devastating magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011. The team worked with local partners following the earthquake and tsunami to deliver critical humanitarian services, including hot meals, medicines, telecommunications equipment, and mental health and psychosocial services and training. International Medical Corps ISH, the Japanese affiliate of International Medical Corps, has been working in support of the Government of Japan and local partner organizations since its founding in 2011.