News Archive
Apr 18, 2016 - Kumamoto Earthquake: Emergency Response
On April 14 and 16, 2016, two strong earthquakes (measuring magnitude-6.4 and 7.3 respectively) struck Kumamoto Prefecture, located on the island of Kyushu, Japan. The earthquakes are the biggest to have hit Japan since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Over 750 aftershocks have been recorded since the initial 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Kumamoto on 14th April at 21:26 local time. These tremors have caused severe loss of life, resulted in thousands of injuries, and damaged critical infrastructure across the area.

Over 250,000 people sought refuge or were ordered to evacuate their homes, and more than 700 emergency shelters have been activated in and around the area. Many people continue to stay in shelters or sleep in their cars due to the threat of ongoing aftershocks. There are growing concerns over negative health impacts and sickness in emergency shelters, especially for the elderly and other vulnerable evacuees.

The Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center (PBV) began gathering information and contacting local partners immediately after the first tremor on April 14, and our advanced team arrived on the ground on April 16, hours after the second major quake struck.

Starting with the heavily affected town of Mashiki, PBVfs staff began assessing the needs of earthquake-hit communities in and around Kumamoto. Having exchanged information with local governments, nonprofit organisations, and community members, the team found the situation to be severe, with relief efforts being hampered by heavy traffic, impassable roads, and continuing aftershocks.

PBVfs team and partners are taking all necessary precautions to ensure their safety as they move around the affected areas, and are ensuring not to be a burden on affected communities by being self-sufficient and well prepared.

Over the coming days and weeks, PBV will continue to work with community members, local governments, and other organisations to assess the situation and determine the best way to provide assistance going forward.

A more detailed situation report, including plans for ongoing support, can be read here.

If you would like to support the survivors of this tragedy, our English-language donations page is live and can be found via the link below.

Donations Page:

For regular updates, please see our Facebook page: or the PBV website.

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