An extremely strong earthquake measuring 7.8 magnitude struck Nepal on April 25 at approximately 11:56 local time. Buildings and infrastructure have received severe damage and as of April 27, the number of dead has risen to more than 3,200 with an additional 5,000 more injured.
As Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD)'s secretariat, Civic Force is taking the lead in fundraising and assisting the logistics of the operations from Japan. A-PAD and its sister organization Peace Winds Japan deployed an initial 12-member emergency response team with 2 search dogs on April 26th, Sunday. In Nepal, the team will formulate an appropriate response system from emergency to reconstruction in collaboration with its cooperating partner on the ground the National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET).
A-PAD is a new-type trans-national disaster aid alliance that creates a national platform composed of businesses, NGOs and government agencies in each country, and where each national platform conduct mutual collaboration in times of disasters.
Each national platform has started to respond. Bangladesh National Platform representative Dhaka Community Hospital Trust (DCH Trust) will be sending a medical team for emergency treatment as soon as the Kathmandu airport reopens. They will also start a field hospital and conduct rapid medical need assessment. The medical team will consist of a trauma surgeon, nurse, and paramedics, and they will be accompanied by DCH Trust staff knowledgeable in DRR.
Indonesia National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction-PLANAS will also be deploying a number of its members from HFI, Dompet Dhuafa, PKPU, San Rumah Zakat and will be accompanied by BNPB (Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Management) on April 28th, Tuesday.
Korea National Platform representative KDR (Korea Disaster Relief Association) and Philippine national platform representative Citizens’ Disaster Response Center have also appealed for donations in their countries.
As Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD)'s secretariat, Civic Force is supporting its mission on the ground. A-PAD and Peace Winds Japan’s (PWJ) joint emergency mission arrived on separate flights in Kathmandu on April 27 and 28.
Since then, the team has been coordinating with local partner National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET) and other entities on the ground to collect information and plan appropriate emergency response activities.
PWJ’s SAR team and dogs visited the Dutch rescue team’s base camp to discuss the locations that are in most need of search and rescue before setting off for the affected areas. They immediately set off for for the collapsed rubble of a guesthouse in Kathmandu where 10 people are believed to be trapped inside. The two search dogs, Halc and Yumenosuke, began to look around for any signs of life but unfortunately could not find any. They will continue their SAR mission on April 29 at Sindupalchowk where more than 1,400 people are now known to have died.
Meanwhile, A-PAD’s assessment team will continue to gather information and coordinate with local organizations. They plan to set out for the town of Sankh, where reports have indicated received severe damage from the earthquake, and conduct an assessment of the humanitarian situation upon reaching the area.
In Kathmandu, our team observes that the survivors are making do with little supplies camped out in tents or under plastic sheets outside in the rain.
We will do our best to relay the situation and updates on our activities from the ground. We thank you for your continuous interest in our activities and for your support.
How Disaster-affected Children Are Living “Today”
“I lost a lot of precious people and things such as family, friends and a home, but since the earthquake, I have learned about the kindness of people and how tough it is to keep living. Now I can feel grateful about everything.”
Recently, we received such messages from high school and college students who were affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The messages are part of the essays we received from scholars of Civic Force’ s “Dream Support Project,” which supports students in Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate prefectures with scholarships and support programs.
The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 and the ensuing tsunami inflicted enormous damages, including over 18,000 people dead or missing. As many parents lost their children, many children also lost their loved ones including their parents, relatives and friends.
According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the number of bereaved children and orphans who lost one or both parents in the earthquake totaled 1,723 as of 2012. These children must adapt not only to changes in their home environment but also to changes in their study environment, such as familiar school buildings destroyed and left unrepaired as well as school grounds being used for temporary housing. In particular, many children have been forced to evacuate from some areas of Fukushima Prefecture, which has been affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Reconstruction of schools, which are the core of each local community, and mental health care of children are major issues that must be addressed together with the reconstruction of the disaster-affected regions as a whole.
Three and a half years have passed since the earthquake. In this Monthly Report, we will portray how children in Tohoku, are facing forward and proactively tackling new challenges “today” while carrying the burden of the memories of “that day.”
During the summer holidays in August, Civic Force held a three-day hands-on training in Tome City and Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture, and a networking event for the scholars of the “Dream Support Project” in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. We will also report on these events in this issue.
In addition, we will report on the relief activities for the landslide disaster which occurred in Hiroshima Prefecture in August, a joint disaster drill held in Aichi Prefecture on National Disaster Prevention Day, and the “Jinseki-Kougen Tour” held in Hiroshima Prefecture for residents of Fukushima who are planning to relocate.
Please be informed that the Monthly Report, which has been published on the 11th of every month following the earthquake, will be discontinued after this issue and our next report will be released as a newsletter in December. Please refer to page 4 for more information.