Japan Earthquake Victims Find Relief in Makeshift Baths Set Up by Self-Defense Forces

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People bathe in a makeshift bath facility set up by the Self-Defense Forces in Nanao, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Wednesday

The Self-Defense Forces have set up makeshift bathing facilities using tents in areas affected by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake. As of Wednesday, the service is in place at about 15 locations across six cities and towns of Ishikawa Prefecture, including Wajima and Nanao. Those who used the facilities expressed delight, saying that they had been cold but were able to warm up thanks to the baths.

In Nanao, one such facility was set up in the parking lot of a local elementary school currently serving as an evacuation shelter. There are two bathtubs in separate tents for men and women, each about 5.5 meters long and 6.5 meters wide, allowing 20 people to take a bath at the same time.

About 200 people a day have been using the baths since they were set up at the school on Sunday. Those using the service receive numbered tickets beforehand and spend about 20 minutes washing their bodies and soaking in the tub.

“It’s been a long time since I took a bath. It felt really good,” said a 65-year-old woman, who visited with her family of five because the water had been cut off at her home.