Assessment of Around 30,000 Quake-Damaged Homes Begins in Japan’s Wajima

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Wajima city officials examine an earthquake-damaged house in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Friday morning.

WAJIMA, Ishikawa — Officials on Friday started assessing the damage caused to homes by the powerful Noto Peninsula Earthquake in the hard-hit city of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture.

At about 10 a.m., six Wajima city officials departed city hall and began assessing damaged buildings, such as by taking photographs of their exteriors. The assessments are required for the issuance of a disaster victim certificate, which is used to calculate the amount of financial support the central government and other bodies will provide to victims of the disaster.

About 30,000 buildings in Wajima need to be assessed, a process which the city government estimates will take two months to complete.

According to the prefectural government, 29,489 homes in Ishikawa had been damaged as of 9 a.m. Friday. However, this figure does not include homes in Wajima and Suzu, the two cities that bore the brunt of the Jan. 1 earthquake. The number of damaged homes is expected to increase as assessments are made in Wajima.

In a related development, the prefectural government announced Friday that the issue of remote communities left isolated, cut off by damage that includes quake-triggered landslides which blocked roads, had “effectively been resolved.” A total of 3,345 residents living in communities in up to 24 districts in four cities and towns, including Wajima, had been cut off by the quake, but this figure had dropped to 26 people as of Thursday, as roads had been reopened and some residents had been evacuated.

At a press conference Friday, Ishikawa Gov. Hiroshi Hase said efforts to urge the remaining people in the still-isolated communities to evacuate would continue. “We will also push ahead with the provision of livelihood support at evacuation shelters and the construction of temporary housing,” Hase said.