Number of Disaster-related Death Applications for Japan’s Noto Quake Victims Stands at 100 According to Survey; Highest Amount in City of Wajima at 53

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Ishikawa prefectural government office

The families of 100 victims who died after the Noto Peninsula Earthquake have applied to have their deaths recognized as disaster-related, according to a survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun.

The death toll from the quake stood at 245 as of May 8. A disaster-related death is caused by fatigue or the aggravation of a chronic illness resulting from staying in a shelter or vehicle after evacuation. The Ishikawa prefectural government and municipalities will jointly examine the applications to determine if they qualify as disaster-related deaths.

According to the survey, 100 people have sent disaster-related death applications as of Friday: 53 in Wajima; 16 in Noto; 14 in Nanao; 10 in Shika and seven in Anamizu. The city of Suzu has not announced any number, saying it would clarify the number of certified cases after the examination.

Of the deaths so far, 15 people in the three municipalities of Suzu, Wajima and Noto are suspected to have died from causes triggered by the disaster, and the applications likely include some of them.

A panel of doctors and lawyers will determine the causal relationship between the earthquake and the deaths using materials including documents based on interviews with the bereaved families. If the panel finds a causal relationship, each bereaved family will receive a disaster condolence payment worth up to ¥5 million.

Following the New Year’s earthquake, the number of evacuees crammed into primary evacuation centers peaked at over 34,000 on Jan. 4. To prevent disaster-related deaths in the harsh environment, the prefectural government prepared a better-furnished shelter at a sports facility in Kanazawa and called for the use of secondary evacuation centers such as inns and hotels far from the disaster area.

Following the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake, 722 applications for disaster-related deaths were received in Kumamoto Prefecture. Of those applications, 218 were certified. The earthquake killed 276 people in the prefectures of Kumamoto and Oita.