30 Deaths Recognized as Indirectly Caused by Noto Quake

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Ishikawa prefectural government office

Kanazawa, Ishikawa Pref., May 14 (Jiji Press) — A panel including doctors and lawyers recognized Tuesday that 30 deaths were indirectly caused by the Jan. 1 Noto Peninsula earthquake in central Japan, in addition to the 245 people who died in the disaster.

The five-member panel, commissioned by the Ishikawa prefectural government, held its first meeting on the day as the families of more than 100 deceased people have filed for such recognition.

Condolence money of ¥5 million , or ¥2.5 million in the case of non-income earners, will be provided to the families of those found to have died from indirect causes.

At the day’s meeting, the panel screened 35 deaths—nine in the city of Wajima, 19 in the city of Suzu, and seven in the town of Noto. While finding 30 deaths to be related to the earthquake, the panel decided to continue examining the remaining five cases.

Applications for condolence money have been made for 53 deceased people in Wajima, 16 in Noto, 14 in the city of Nanao, 10 in the town of Shika and seven in the town of Anamizu. Suzu, which saw many deaths, has not released the number of applications it has received.

The prefectural government has so far said that 15 deaths are suspected to have been indirectly caused by the disaster.

The central government defines disaster-related deaths as those from “diseases resulting from the aggravation of disaster-caused injuries or the physical burden of evacuation life.”

In the wake of the Noto Peninsula earthquake, the Ishikawa government promoted the evacuation of people to hotels and other facilities, in light of water outages and other harsh living conditions at evacuation centers.

Over the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake in southwestern Japan, there were 722 applications for disaster-related death recognition, and 218, or about 30 %, were approved. About 80 % of the recognized cases involved people aged 70 or older.

Of the recognized deaths, 40 % were attributed to emotional shock from the quake and fear of aftershocks, 29 % to harsh living conditions at evacuation centers, and 16 % to delayed primary care due to the suspension of medical institutions.