Report: English language information session, 2024 Ishikawa Noto Peninsula Earthquake Emergency Relief

Jan 14, 2024

Peace Boat Disaster Relief (PBV), together with Peace Boat, hosted an English language information session on January 14 about emergency relief following the New Year’s Day earthquake which struck the Noto Peninsula area of Ishikawa Prefecture on January 1, 2024.

As of January 13, 220 people lost their lives as a result of the disaster, and the full damage is not yet known. Strong aftershocks are still occurring frequently, and local residents are still in a very challenging situation.

This session was organised to share with the international community in Japan and beyond updates from the situation on the ground, PBV’s aid activities, and information about how people can support. Thank you to all participants who joined from different parts of Japan, as well as from other parts of the world including Taiwan, Spain and Italy, and shared different questions and perspectives on the situation and potential to contribute.

Ikuno Suzuki, who has been involved in coordination of relief efforts in Ishikawa, presented an overview of the impacts of the disaster, including the ongoing difficulties which are hindering recovery and access for aid organisations such as blackouts, water outages and road blockages. She also introduced the challenging situation of the more than 20,000 people currently living in temporary shelters throughout the prefecture, and local government plans for their resettlement. PBV is active in the cities of Nanao, Suzu and Wajima, and activities to distribute hot meals, improve the living conditions at shelters, and coordinate the work of various NGOs were presented.

Many joining the webinar are keen to be involved in the relief efforts, including through volunteering. The recovery process will take many months and even longer, and the mid to long term efforts will require coordination between support organisations, improvement of life at shelters, reconstruction of homes and recovery of communities. Ikuno shared the different schemes existing in Japan for disaster volunteering, and information on how to ensure that one can gather the necessary information regarding conditions, registration, insurance and so on in advance.

Due to the local situation and ongoing limitations, volunteers cannot yet be received in the affected areas. PBV will continue to closely monitor and share up to date information on our homepage and social media as the situation develops, and hold similar English language information sessions on a regular basis. PBV believes that, above all else, people are the key to reducing disaster risk, building resilience and minimising impacts of disasters, and the ongoing support of communities is crucial.

It is evident that long-term support will be required to assist the recovery of livelihoods and communities on the Noto Peninsula. As more time passes since the disaster, it is vital to continue to pay attention, and ensure that financial support can also be continued to ensure that long-term, sustainable assistance can be provided, tailored to local needs.

We hope that attention on the ongoing situation will also be sustained, and welcome all contributions. Donations can be made from within Japan or internationally through credit card payments, money transfer, Benevity, Give2Asia, or Yahoo! Japan internet donations. Thank you for your ongoing interest and support.

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