May 25th, 2016
AMDA Emergency Relief Bulletin #11: Kumamoto Earthquake (Japan)
By Hler Gudjonsson, IFRC
Two devastating earthquakes struck Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture on the 14th and 16th of May, killing 67 people and damaging or destroying around 75,000 houses. The earthquakes caused the displacement of more than 180,000 people but most evacuees have now found places to stay, either with friends and relatives or in rented apartments. However, there are almost 10,000 people remaining in evacuation centres and many are in serious need of continued support from the Red Cross.
Tokyo, Japan | AFP | Friday 5/20/2016 - 10:55 GMT
Japan pledged $6 billion in fresh aid to the Middle East Friday to prevent violent extremism and stabilise the region, ahead of next week's Group of Seven summit which is expected to address global hotspot issues such terrorism.
Japan is hosting the annual event that draws leaders from some of the world's richest nations including US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
They are likely to discuss security threats as well as geopolitical instability in the Middle East and elsewhere.
May 20th, 2016
AMDA Emergency Relief Bulletin #10: Kumamoto Earthquake (Japan)
Keep the Kumamoto Red Cross Hospital operating
The Kumamoto Red Cross Hospital is the leading healthcare facility in Kumamoto Prefecture with 500 beds operated by 1,000 staff. It is located near the epicentre of the earthquakes and was lightly damaged. After the earthquakes, it has also covered the other collapsed health facilities and accepted thousands of patients without any interruptions, although half of the staff are affected by the quakes. Most of the Red Cross hospitals in Japan have dispatched totally 300 medical staff to keep the Kumamoto hospital operating.
While it has been almost one month since the evacuation life has started in Mashiki-cho’s Hiroyasu Elementary School (AMDA’s activity base), some of those who were relocated to the school gym from the classrooms (due to the school’s resuming) say they are still anxious of what the future holds for themselves. Meanwhile, the nurses at the makeshift aid post have been doing rounds in their spare time; trying to maintain the health conditions of the evacuees; monitoring blood pressure/sugar levels and so forth.
On May 9th, the schools resumed classes after 25 days from the day the earthquake struck Kumamoto. 138 evacuees at Hiroyasu Elementary School (AMDA’s activity base) in Mashiki-cho were mostly relocated to the school gym from the classrooms where they were taking refuge. For now, the school will be run while housing evacuees at the same time.
Due to the decline in emergency medical needs at AMDA’s activity base (Hirayasu Elementary School) in Mashiki-cho, AMDA’s medical assistance is entering the secondary stage where acupuncturists, care workers and physiotherapists are playing an active role in taking care of the evacuees. The most notable and unique attempt is a collaborative mobile clinic conducted by the team of medical personnel with different specialties.
(2) Japanese Red Cross Society Disaster Medical Co-ordinate Team
The Japanese Red Cross Society has dispatched the Japanese Red Cross Society Disaster Medical Co-ordinate Team to the disaster affected zone. The team is a group of professional, who plans and coordinates an emergency medical relief operation, and gives advice to the relevant relief actors and organisations.
Yokohama – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is providing logistics support to Kumamoto prefecture in south-western Japan as local authorities come to the aid of those affected by strong earthquakes on 14 and 16 April.
The magnitude-6.5 foreshock at 9:26 p.m. on April 14 and the magnitude-7.3 main shock at 1:25 a.m. on April 16 have caused great damages in Kumamoto Prefecture as well as in neighboring Oita Prefecture. Even though there are fewer aftershocks now, the surviving residents are still spending sleepless nights in uncertainty.
Conditions as of April 30
AMDA team has been working at both Hirayasu Elementary School in Mashiki-cho (the initial activity hub) as well as the temporary healthcare room set up on April 27th at Mashiki-cho Athletic Complex Park’s tent village. At the healthcare room, the team holds blood pressure check and other health guidance while going around the tents to take care of patients with heart diseases and diabetes. On April 29th alone, seven people visited the healthcare room.
The Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) offered to provide relief goods in response to the recent Kumamoto Earthquake. Following coordination between the Government of Japan and the Government of the ROK, two ROK military transport aircraft landed at Kumamoto Airport in the afternoon of April 22, providing retort pouch rice, water and other relief goods (equivalent of approx. US$100,000).
As of April 27th, there are two doctors and five nurses working at AMDA’s activity base, a local elementary school (Hiroyasu Elementary School) in Mashiki-cho, Kumamoto, the hardest-hit disaster site.
The number of patients has decreased to 35 which was the first time to reach the 30s since the relief has started. While acute respiratory infections have shown a drastic decline (eight), stress-related symptoms have gotten to be the most prevalent. The patients with headaches, insomnia and body aches are expected to increase in coming days due to prolonged evacuation life.
Some of the local shops, clinics and pharmacies around AMDA’s activity base (Hirayasu Elementary School) in Mashiki-cho have resumed business as usual. On April 25th, the total number of patients at AMDA’s temporary clinic was 41: acute respiratory infections counted the most (15), followed by stress-related symptoms (10).
April 26th, 2016
AMDA Emergency Relief Bulletin #3: Kumamoto Earthquake (Japan)
11 days have passed since AMDA started providing medical assistance at a local elementary school (Hiroyasu Elementary School) in Mashiki-cho, Kumamoto, the hardest-hit disaster site.
Interview with Dr. Sonoko Sidehara, project coordinator for Kumamoto Quake emergency response
Following the 6.5 and 7.3 magnitude earthquakes which struck Kumamoto Prefecture on 14 and 16 April, an estimated 60,000 people remain in more than 600 evacuation centres. With the resumption of basic services, the number of the evacuees has decreased from 112,100 people last week. The Government has secured apartment units for 8,350 households as temporary accommodation. On 22 April, the Republic of Korea delivered food, bottled water and blankets, by sending two military aircraft to Kumamoto Airport.
By Hler Gudjonsson, IFRC
Mr Tadateru Konoé, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Japanese Red Cross Society, arrived in Kumamoto yesterday for a two-day visit. The prefecture was struck by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake on 14 April, followed by another 7.3 magnitude tremor on 16 April. 48 people died in the disaster, at least 800 were injured, and more than 120,000 people were forced to evacuate from their homes.
Even though it is more than a week ago that Kumamoto was first struck by the large earthquakes on 14 and 16 April, there are still more than 80,000 people staying at some 700 evacuation centers in and around Kumamoto. Many of the evacuees have their houses destroyed by the earthquakes, others are too afraid to return home as large aftershocks continue, and still others prefer to stay at evacuation centers since their houses lack vital life lines (water and gas) due to the damage done by the earthquakes.