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HOME NEWS 【News】Newsletter Vol.19 Now Available - 2019: Recurrent Natural Disasters



【News】Newsletter Vol.19 Now Available - 2019: Recurrent Natural Disasters


There is only one month left in 2019. 

Following 2018 which was defined by a kanji character meaning “disaster” (the “Kanji of the Year” selected by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing), we experienced large-scale natural disasters again this year - the Northern Kyushu Torrential Rain in August, Typhoon No.15 in September, and followed by typhoons No.19 (Hagibis) and 21 in October. Typhoon No.19, which was designated as an “extremely severe disaster” and an “extraordinary disaster” by the government, caused enormous damage with more than 100 persons dead or missing and 90,000 houses destroyed or flooded in 31 prefectures (as of November 25). The number of people living in evacuation shelters is gradually decreasing compared to the peak period. However, there is still a considerable number of “home evacuees,” or people who have chosen to stay in their flooded houses, living on the 2nd floor and so forth, as there is no privacy at evacuation centers. It is not clear how many of these home evacuees exist or how they are living, so therefore assistance policies are not yet sufficient.
Typhoons, unlike earthquakes, are predictable to some extent. Nevertheless, the damage caused by Typhoon No. 19 was extensive and created a great deal of disruptions in different areas.
Before the disaster occurred, Civic Force formed an emergency assistance team with partner organizations and started gathering relevant information. The day after the typhoon struck, we surveyed the damage from the air using helicopters and airplanes and began by transporting patients who were stranded at hospitals in Nagano City to a neighboring hospital. At the same time, we visited evacuation shelters in Nagano and Fukushima prefectures in order to obtain and provide necessary resources. We responded to rapidly changing needs through networks of companies and NPOs, including cooperation with the Social Emergency Management Alliance (SEMA), which has 52 member companies.
In this newsletter, we look back on the two months of our emergency assistance activities in the wake of Typhoon No. 19, and also report on our Tohoku support project which was newly started this year.