JAPAN – Following an earthquake in Japan, Operation Blessing Japan (OBJ), an international NGO, began emergency disaster relief activities on January 4th, following the 7.6 M earthquake that struck the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture at 4:10 p.m. on January 1st, 2024.
Earthquake Damage in Ishikawa Prefecture
According to Ishikawa Prefecture, a total of 84 people (now 161) died in the prefecture as of 10 p.m. on January 4. In addition, many collapsed houses have been confirmed in Wajima City, Suzu City, and Noto Town, and the total extent of damage has not yet been confirmed.
Accepting Donations Following the Earthquake in Japan
In response to requests from the local community, on January 4, 2024, we began accepting donations for the “2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake” and began emergency relief activities. The same day, we loaded a 2-ton truck with water, rice porridge, blankets, sanitary supplies, emergency toilets, and other items provided by FUKUSHIMA Inochi no Mizu (NPO) of Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture, and distributed the water and blankets to Uchinada Bible Church in Uchinada Town, Ishikawa Prefecture.
Earthquake Relief in Nanao City
On the 5th, we delivered foodstuffs for the elderly in a special nursing home in Nanao City in response to their request, including Japanese drink jelly and rice porridge. We also gave a generator in response to the shortage of diesel fuel and polyethylene tanks. The head of the facility commented, “For the first time in a long time, I could see the staff smiling and happy. We are very grateful for your help,” he commented.
Responding to Past Earthquakes in Japan
OBJ has been dispatched to disaster sites around Japan, including the Great East Japan Earthquake (2011), the Kumamoto Earthquake (2016), and the West Japan Torrential Rain Disaster (2018), to provide material support to isolated individuals and facilities, psychological care for children and the elderly, and operation of children’s spaces. We also share information with churches and local facilities, and focus on support activities to prevent the isolation of people who are vulnerable to disasters, such as the disabled, elderly, and welfare facility users who are unable to evacuate to shelters. We will use this knowledge and work together with our partner organizations and related institutions to support people living in the areas affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake to be able to return to their daily lives.
As of 3:00 p.m. on January 3, 355 evacuation centers had opened in Ishikawa Prefecture, with a total of 33,000 people taking shelter. Food and supplies are in short supply in many areas, and there is an urgent need for continued material support and assistance with cold protection measures to prevent secondary disasters such as hypothermia.
If you would like to give a special gift to help victims of natural disaster and crisis at this time, please visit ob.org/disasterrelief