• Noto Peninsula Earthquake

News in Pictures / Noto Quake Evacuees Suffer from Prolonged Stay at Centers

Yomiuri Shimbun photos
Top: Earthquake victims use a greenhouse as an emergency shelter on Jan. 7 in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, as public evacuation centers were full. Bottom: Residents gather at a makeshift cafe amid a power outage on Jan. 7 in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture. A local lacquerware shop owner opened the cafe in his garage after his shop was heavily damaged by the quake.

Monday marked two weeks since the powerful Noto Peninsula Earthquake struck Ishikawa Prefecture. As of Sunday, nearly 20,000 people were still staying at evacuation centers, and 14 disaster-related deaths that occurred since being evacuated were confirmed as of 2 p.m. Monday.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The area around a fishing port hit by the Jan. 1 tsunami is seen on Thursday in Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture.

Concerns are rising for the elderly staying at evacuation centers amid severe cold weather and poor sanitary conditions due to prolonged water outages. The spread of infectious diseases is also a worry.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Residents gather at a water distribution point in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Jan. 8.

In the disaster-hit areas, many are still left in isolated communities where it is difficult to get support, and some are still sleeping in their cars. A growing number of people are suffering from hypothermia and being transported to hospitals.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A 72-year-old man feeds his dogs in his car at an elementary school’s sports field in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Saturday. His daughter and a grandchild are sleeping in the car, as there is not enough space for them in the elementary school, which is being used as an evacuation center.
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Self-Defense Forces personnel carry a patient to be transported to Komatsu Airport in Ishikawa Prefecture from Wajima in the prefecture on Jan. 8.

The authorities are trying to promote secondary evacuations, which use hotels and inns outside the disaster area as shelters until temporary housing is built. However, it is impossible to transport large numbers of evacuees all at once, so significant aid within the disaster-hit areas needs to continue for the time being.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A 63-year-old woman carries some of her belongings out of her destroyed house in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Wednesday. She and her family managed to escape through a window when the earthquake struck on Jan. 1.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida toured the affected areas on Sunday and said to reporters, “In some areas, it is expected to take more than three months to restore roads and water systems.” He then urged evacuees to proactively consider secondary evacuations to protect their lives and health.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Self-Defense Forces personnel deliver food and fuel on Friday to a community cut off by the earthquake in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture.
The Yomiuri Shimbun
A family searches for their cat on Jan. 8 in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture. The cat went missing when the quake struck the city.