The record-level torrential rain that began on July 4 caused flooding and landslides that were responsible for 77 deaths. When the rain began, Civic Force's joint emergency assistance team, ARROWS (Airborne Rescue and Relief Operations With Search), dispatched 25 members including doctors, nurses, and search-and-rescue (SAR) members with three SAR dogs. The team utilized two helicopters, vehicles, amphibious vehicles, and boats and provided prompt assistance activities. The team performed a variety of roles:
Medical Assistance - ARROWS transferred patients who were rescued from a flooded nursing home to nearby hospitals. The medical team also treated evacuees at evacuation centers and prescribed medications.
Rescue Operations - On July 7, ARROWS delivered relief items to 70 victims who were stranded at a nursery school in Kuma and provided medical examinations. On July 8, the team rescued over 20 people who were stranded and transferred them to safety. On July 11, the team rescued a dog and cat stranded in an isolated area and returned them to back to their owners.
Evacuation Center Management - ARROWS helped manage five evacuation centers in Kumamoto. Kuma Athletic Park was a makeshift evacuation center where evacuees slept on the ground with only a vinyl sheet. The park is now used as a storehouse for relief items after ARROWS facilitated transferring the evacuees to two safer evacuation centers. ARROWS also assisted setting up the new evacuation centers.
COVID-19 Prevention - In the midst of the COVID-19 concern, ARROWS provided specialized support at evacuation centers. Civic Force's tents were used as isolation areas in case evacuees experienced fevers. ARROWS also promoted increased awareness for infection prevention including handwashing and gargling by placing advocacy posters throughout the area.
Procurement & Distribution of Relief Items – ARROWS provided timely distribution of relief items including masks, disinfectants, towels, mattresses, beverages, socks, fans, etc.
True to our mandate, Civic Force is committed to responding to emergencies and providing life-saving activities. We will continue to assist the affected people in whatever way possible.
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