More than eight months have passed since the outbreak of the Kumamoto earthquake in April and its first year-end season after the quake has arrived. Quakes of intensity 7 were observed twice and the impact of repeated aftershocks dealt a great blow to Kumamoto Prefecture where more than 160 people were killed including “disaster-related deaths.” “Collapses of houses” top the list of damages, which is estimated to be more than 178,000 cases. By November 14th, 4,303 temporary emergency housings in 16 municipalities were completed (according to the Cabinet Office). However, there are no signs of reconstruction for permanent houses; so many disaster-affected people are showing anxieties in restarting their new life.
How are those who were affected living now? And how far has the recovery/reconstruction been progressed? In Mashiki Town, more than 90 percent of the houses were damaged. In Nishihara Village, geographic factors led to temporary isolation. In Minamiaso Village, landslide caused great damages such as the collapse of the Aso-Ohashi Bridge, a symbol of the region. In each disaster-affected area where many residents were uprooted for evacuation, many issues on recovery/reconstruction are still piled up. The newsletter of this month shares challenges of the affected areas, which have begun to appear by the support given to the “NPO Partner Projects” of Civic Force and in the activities of those who stood up for recovery/reconstruction.
Civic Force has published its financial statements for fiscal 2016 in the middle of this month. Our activities are supported by contributions from many individuals and groups. We will remain active in supporting voluntary activities conducted by the people of the local communities in Kumamoto so that our activities can surely help the affected areas.