Sydney, Australia | AFP | Monday 7/4/2016 - 04:18 GMT
Radiation levels across the Pacific Ocean are rapidly returning to normal five years after a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant spewed gases and liquids into the sea, a study showed Monday.
Japan shut down dozens of reactors after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake-generated tsunami on March 11, 2011 triggered one of the largest ever dumps of nuclear material into the world's oceans.
While schools have already restarted in Mashiki-machi, Kumamoto, the number of evacuees at Hiroyasu Elementary School has declined to 157 from 800-plus at its peak. Nevertheless, still 136 people are staying in the school gym, 11 are in a special classroom and 10 are in their cars. As for those whose houses were completely destroyed or severely damaged, they are still being forced to seek refuge. Likewise, those who are yet to be allocated with a temporary housing still need to remain at the shelter.
By Hler Gudjonsson, IFRC
Although it stands only 2 kilometres from the epicentre, Kumamoto Red Cross Hospital was the only medical facility that was still operational following two devastating earthquakes that hit Kumamoto Prefecture on 14 and 16 April. Most of the doctors, nurses and other staff lived close to the hospital and today, around 30 per cent of these Red Cross workers are still unable to return to their homes.
Standing by each of the survivors
Unrestored water supply – Struggles from days without water for hydration or bathing
On April 26, AAR Japan’s emergency response team distributed aid to 4 welfare centers and collaborated with The Peace Project (non-profit organization) to operate soup kitchens.
Midori Center, an elderly nursing home in the town of Nishi-Hara in Aso county, continues to struggle without water. AAR Japan’s emergency response team delivered 50 packets of oral rehydration powder so that elderly survivors could hydrate.
AAR Japan continues to deliver much-needed sanitary products
In response to the earthquakes that rocked Kumamoto prefecture on April 14, Association for Aid and Relief Japan (AAR Japan) dispatched the emergency response team, which consisted of 6 members as of April 20: Ben Kato (a board member), Go Igarashi, Kazuya Omuro, Shinichiro Ohara, Masaru Miki, and Yuta Funakoshi. The emergency response team is delivering aid, operating soup kitchens, and conducting needs assessment.
Soon after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the Tohoku area in Japan in 2011, many of its citizens were forced to leave their homes and into temporary housing. The thought of leaving familiar surrounds for at least five years resulted in many of them feeling isolated, lonely and stressed.
To help lift spirits and bring some much needed relief and light entertainment to those relocated, the Australia-Japan Foundation and members of the local Japanese Board of Education brainstormed on how to use the 40,000 books left behind in the damaged local library.
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.