HomeWorldUS troops to join earthquake relief efforts in Japan

US troops to join earthquake relief efforts in Japan

US troops to join earthquake relief efforts in Japan

Tokyo, JAPAN(EFE) – The United States military will join efforts to assist those affected by the devastating earthquake that struck central Japan on Jan. 1, the Japanese defense ministry announced Tuesday.

A US military helicopter will be used to transport supplies to the Noto peninsula, in Ishikawa prefecture, the worst hit by the magnitude-7.6 earthquake.

The Japan Self-Defense Forces, the country’s military, will now be focused on moving evacuees to new refugee centers, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said at a press conference.

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The minister said that, with a significant increase in the requirement for manpower, Japan had requested the assistance of US forces in the country to enable logistical efforts to continue smoothly.

Two weeks after the quake, many parts of the Noto peninsula remain inaccessible by road due to the serious damage caused by the disaster to infrastructure in the area.

Police officers search for victims in a snow covered residential area which was devastated by a tsunami following an earthquake, in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, January 9, 2024. Mandatory credit Kyodo via REUTERS/

Food and water are being delivered to the area and efforts are being made to accelerate the transfer of evacuees to better facilities and assist over 400 people who remain cut-off.

Some 19,000 people, whose homes were damaged or destroyed, are housed in gyms and community centers, with many of them lacking sufficient basic goods, heat or running water.

The cold temperatures and snow storms in the area are making road transportation even more difficult, while also causing a rise in hypothermia cases as well as respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases.

This has led Japanese authorities to collaborate with the private sector to open hotels or ‘ryokans’ – traditional Japanese accommodation – both inside and outside the Ishikawa prefecture.

Nearly 250 temporary homes are also being set up in the prefecture.

Some 222 people have died due to the earthquake, according to the latest death toll provided by the Japanese authorities.

This includes 14 people who died due to a deterioration of their health as a result of being forced to leave their homes.

An additional 22 people remain missing after the earthquake, in which 1,036 were injured. EFE

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