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Little Improvement in Evacuation Centers after 20 Yrs: Expert

Little Improvement in Evacuation Centers after 20 Yrs: Expert

   Tokyo, March 30 (Jiji Press)--Japanese disaster evacuation centers have improved little in the past 20 years, an expert said with over 8,000 evacuees staying at such facilities three months after the Jan. 1 Noto Peninsula earthquake.
   Kazuhiko Hanzawa, specially appointed professor of cardiovascular surgery at Niigata University and an executive of the Society for Disaster Shelter and Refuge Life, was deeply disappointed to see the situations of evacuation centers when visiting in January the city of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, central Japan, hit hard by the disaster.
   While some evacuation centers in the neighboring municipalities of Suzu and Noto introduced cardboard beds two weeks after the quake, evacuees in Wajima were left sleeping on the floor. There were no beds at some locations in Wajima even in early March.
   Hanzawa has been involved in efforts to prevent deep-vein thrombosis among disaster evacuees since the 2004 temblor that rocked the Chuetsu region of Niigata, near Ishikawa. He advocates for setting up toilets, kitchens and beds at evacuation centers within 48 hours.
   "The latest earthquake exposed the problem of insufficient stockpiling during ordinary times as goods deliveries were halted due to road disruptions," he said.

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