Ishikawa Prefecture to Centralize Evacuees’ Data into its Disaster Information System

The Yomiuri Shimbun
SDF personnel are seen restoring a road leading to a district in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Jan. 3.

The Ishikawa prefectural government will centralize data on evacuees collected by the Self-Defense Forces and Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) into its disaster information system, it announced Saturday.

Following the Jan. 1 Noto Peninsula Earthquake, the prefectural government has been unable to confirm the actual number and condition of evacuees because many residents are voluntarily staying in vehicles and greenhouses, among other places, rather than the evacuation centers designated by municipalities, while some have been living in isolated areas.

The prefectural government believes that the centralization of data will enable more precise provision of supplies and medical assistance among other necessary support for evacuees.

The prefectural government has so far input into its system the information of those staying at evacuation centers designated by municipalities. However, the information on those staying in sites other than designated evacuation centers, which the SDF and DMAT had identified before the municipalities, was provided to the prefectural government on paper. As a result, there was a delay in the reporting of information, and thus the prefectural government was unable to confirm which districts became isolated in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.

From now on, the information entered by the SDF and DMAT will be reflected in the prefectural government’s system, and by registering photos, they can share the exact location of people who are voluntarily staying outside of designated evacuation centers with the prefectural government.

Information on the status of supplies and those in need of assistance can also be confirmed via the system, and a more detailed response becomes possible.

“We will make full use of this system to ensure that no one is left behind in the affected areas,” said a senior prefectural government official.

In the Konosu district in Wajima in the prefecture, more than 700 people were isolated, but it became accessible Saturday following the completion of restoration works on a nearby national highway.

As of Saturday, 793 people in 15 districts in Suzu and Noto in the prefecture, remain isolated.

According to the Kanazawa Local Meteorological Office, heavy snow is forecast for Monday and Tuesday due to a low-pressure system and cold front. It is calling for vigilance against the collapsing of damaged buildings and landslides.