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Kumamoto Earthquakes

On the evening of April 14, 2016, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Kyushi. A second, larger 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit the island less than 48 hours later on April 16. At least 49 people perished as a result of the earthquake, however the largest impact has been on access to shelter and infrastructure, with at least 69,000 people initially displaced, more than 129,000 households without power, and at least 385,000 people without access to water.

As of May 9, 2016, seismic activity continues with more than 1,170 aftershocks recorded since the first significant earthquake on April 17; 1,037 aftershocks have been recorded in the hardest-hit prefectures of Kumamoto and Oita alone. Government reports indicate more than 2,400 houses have been destroyed, with another 20,000 damaged. In Kumamoto city, officials still struggle to meet housing needs, and there are continued reports of evacuees in the hardest-hit areas sleeping and living in their cars. As of May 4, some 19,000 people still remain in 380 evacuation centers; many others remain displaced, living with families and friends because their homes are uninhabitable. According to local reports, Kumamoto authorities intend to open 18 new evacuation shelters that are better equipped than existing facilities.  These new centers will also facilitate the reopening of schools, many of which remain closed as they are serving as evacuation centers.

International Medical Corps Emergency Response Team continues to support the Government of Japan and local officials in responding to the ongoing needs from this crisis, filling gaps and providing services to families and individuals in evacuation centers, including:

Moving forward, International Medical Corps will continue to support the Japanese government in its response efforts; the team is now assessing the potential for additional mental health training and nutrition support, especially for elderly evacuees. In addition, IMC will be working with local partners to provide support, capacity and technical advice for recovery efforts.