Suica Cards Clarify Situation at Japan Earthquake Evacuation Centers; Help Understand Location Use

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Evacuees line up for food at an elementary school that is being used as an evacuation center in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Jan. 13.

Transportation IC cards will be distributed to evacuees to help collect data on evacuation centers in the area affected by the Noto Peninsula Earthquake, according to the Digital Agency and East Japan Railway Co.

The agency and JR East announced Friday that Suica cards will be provided free of charge to evacuees in order to accurately understand the use of evacuation centers and efficiently deliver relief supplies.

The evacuees will register their name, address, and other information on the cards and use it when entering evacuation centers. The data will then be sent to the Ishikawa prefectural office.

JR East will provide about 18,000 cards and 350 reading machines. The distribution of Suica cards is expected to begin within a week, and card reading machines will be installed at all primary evacuation centers in Ishikawa Prefecture.

According to the Digital Agency, evacuation centers are being used in a variety of ways, with some people staying in their cars at night or at the homes of relatives, making it difficult to understand how much locations are being used. By gathering data at the prefectural office, it will be easier to grasp the number of people who need support, an agency official said.