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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 April 13 - 19  > JCP sets up taskforce to assist victims following Kumamoto earthquake
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2016 April 13 - 19 [JCP]

JCP sets up taskforce to assist victims following Kumamoto earthquake

April 16, 2016
Following the outbreak of a major earthquake in Kumamoto Prefecture, the Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers’ Group on the morning of April 15 set up a taskforce headed by JCP Secretariat Head Koike Akira, and immediately sent two JCP lawmakers to the quake-hit area.

The first quake occurred at 9:26 p.m. on the previous day in Kumamoto’s Mashiki Town, measuring seven on the Japanese 7-point intensity scale. Aftershocks with seismic intensities of 5 and 6 are continuing.

Amid the aftershocks which are inflicting further damage, the taskforce will immediately begin relief activities for evacuees and local residents. Koike said, “We will give victims all the information we collect and will request the central government to take immediate measures.” In addition, the JCP will set up a nationwide campaign to collect donations for the victims.

In the affected area, Tamura Takaaki and Majima Shozo, both members of the House of Representatives, together with a local prefectural assemblyperson of the JCP visited local residents to listen to their needs and check the extent of the damage.

A sufferer said, “The inside my house is totally messed up. Broken glass and dishes are scattered around the rooms. Please, work to restore the utilities.” Tamura responded, “We will work to have the electricity and water supply in working order as soon as possible.

At a town facility where about 1,000 residents are taking shelter, many of them are attempting to sleep only with blankets on the floors of meeting rooms or corridors with neither tatami mats nor beds made available. A town official said, “All the nine evacuation centers in the town are completely full of residents coming to seek refuge.”

The mayor of Mashiki Town, Nishimura Hironori, said, “I requested the prefectural government to install temporary toilets and reconstruct the social infrastructure such as roads as soon as possible. I’m really worried about further damages because heavy rain is forecast to fall here this weekend.”

Majima said, “Some residents told us that they stayed overnight outside. Please provide information regarding the distribution of relief goods to everyone.” Tamura conveyed the request from the evacuees he had talked with to the mayor that information be repeated several times in a louder voice over the community broadcast system.

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