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[United States announces emergency assistance for Hokkaido earthquake]

Hiroshima, Japan, September 24, 2018 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided $50,000 to support the humanitarian assistance efforts of Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) for the people in Hokkaido, Japan, affected by the recent earthquake.

PWJ has been providing emergency relief in Atsuma-town, where the earthquakes hit the hardest and a series of landslides occurred. The USAID funding will enable PWJ to provide a shuttle bus service to public baths for victims staying in evacuation centers and assist the municipal office with logistics needs in order to respond to the disaster more effectively.

Peace Winds Japan’s Director of Domestic Operations, Hiroshi Kunita stated, “As Atsuma-town is recovering from the disaster, it is crucial for the town to have resources and support they need to implement recovery operations. This USAID grant will have a big impact for those affected by this disaster.”

On September 6, 2018, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 struck Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s four main islands. The epicenter was located near the city of Tomakomai and about 37 km underground. With power plants damaged, 3 million homes and other public buildings including the airport, train stations, and hospitals lost electricity. The rains from Typhoon Jebi, the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years, loosened soil contributing to hundreds of landslides, particularly around Atsuma. As of September 15, there have been 41 confirmed deaths, over 650 injured, and 1,600 victims in Hokkaido who remain in evacuation centers.

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