Japan Floods: Red Cross Provides Relief and Comfort
Eisaku Tomioka spent several nights sleeping on the second floor of his flooded home before evacuating to safety. Credit: Japanese Red Cross.
Shizuka Ejiri says Red Cross teams are providing her with medical assistance and kindness. Credit: Japanese Red Cross.
Red Cross relief teams deployed in fishing boats to reach communities cut off by roads. Credit: Japanese Red Cross.
Widespread damage to homes and infrastructure from severe rainfall and landslides. Credit: Japanese Red Cross.
People across Japan are recovering from the most severe flooding in decades. “The first floor of my house was completely swept by water” Eisaku Tomioka described. As water continued to rise, he spent several nights sleeping on the second floor.
“Living alone, I was very lonely and scared,” he added from inside an evacuation center where he is finally able to sleep soundly.
RECORD BREAKING RAINFALL Devastating damage is reported. Unprecedented rainfall caused deadly flooding and destructive landslides in central and southwestern Japan. Evacuation orders were issued for up to 1.9 million people. Critical infrastructure, roads, electricity and water sources are damaged. Tragically, more than 170 people lost their lives and more are reported missing. Survivors are facing dangerous summer heat with limited access to air conditioning and water, in addition to other medical concerns.
RED CROSS RESPONSE The Japanese Red Cross has been working tirelessly to help provide relief and comfort to communities. Red Cross teams even deployed in fishing boats to reach communities cut off by roads due to landslides. More than 8,000 blankets have been distributed, along with 6,800 emergency kits.
Amidst soaring temperatures and widespread electrical outages, the Red Cross is sharing public safety information on how to prevent and treat heat stroke. This lifesaving information is especially important for elderly community members.
National medical teams are also providing critical health assistance—including psychosocial support. Eisaku Tomioka received medical support when he arrived at the evacuation center. “I had a medical team take care of my foot injuries.” he shared.
Red Cross teams are also helping community members like 86-year-old Shizuka Ejiri. When heavy rain forced Shizuka to leave her home, she was not able to grab her daily medication in time. Medical staff in the evacuation center are ensuring Shizuka gets the medicine and care she needs. In addition to medical assistance, Shizuka added that Red Cross teams have been providing her with “kindness”.
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If you are looking for a missing relative, you can speak to a caseworker at your local American Red Cross office. You can find your nearest chapter here.
For inquiries concerning U.S. citizens missing in Japan, please contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or go online at http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/overseas-citizens-services.shtml.
In Japan: Naomi Akamatsu, Japanese Red Cross Society, +813 3437 7088, email@example.com
In Kuala Lumpur: Rosemarie North, Communications manager – IFRC Asia Pacific: +60 12 230 8451, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.