JCP sets up a disaster relief task force

A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck central Niigata Prefecture at around 6:00 p.m. on October 23, followed by two more, killing more than 20 and injuring more than 2,000 people as of October 24.

The Japanese Communist Party Central Committee immediately established a task force to organize relief activities and dispatched a team that consists of House of Councilors member Inoue Satoshi and Former House of Councilors member Kasai Akira to the disaster-stricken area early the next morning.

The JCP team visited victims and local governments to know what they most need now.

The victims said they want drinking water and pocket warmers. Local government officials complained about the shortage of water and food and said they want an early recovery of essential lifelines such as electricity and water.

The JCP team promised to urge the central government to take relief measures to ensure that they have access to water, heat, and food.

As aftershocks have constantly occurred in the upper five level on the Japanese intensity scale, about 65,000 people are still forced to stay in evacuation centers. As of October 24, about 56,000 houses are without heating and cooking gas. The water supply is cut off in about 109,000 houses and about 98,000 houses are experiencing a power outage. 156 houses were completely destroyed while 250 houses were half destroyed and 2,177 houses were partially destroyed. About 1,038 sites of damage to roads, 82 landslides, and 30 sites of damage to train bridge piers have been reported so far. (end)

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