At 1:25 AM local time on April 16, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the southwestern city of Kumamoto-shi, Japan. The earthquake comes just one day after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake rocked the area along with several strong aftershocks.
More than 181,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Kumamoto and are staying in shelters, community centres, and outdoors. The Emergency Response Team assessed needs at four evacuation centers in Mashiki, Nishihara, Minamiaso, and Choyo, where they found that there were not enough latrines to accommodate the hundreds of people seeking temporary shelter.
International Medical Corps is now working to provide emergency toilets and distribute personal hygiene items, such as soap and toothbrushes, and basic relief supplies at evacuation centers throughout the affected area. Teams are also identifying local partners to support recovery efforts in the days and weeks ahead.
International Medical Corps was on the ground 48 hours after the devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011. We worked with local partners following the earthquake and tsunami to deliver critical humanitarian services and build self-reliance. International Medical Corps' approach to help people help themselves is critical to ensure a long-term impact in the communities we serve. We will do all this and more to help the survivors of this most recent earthquake recover.