Tokyo/Beijing/Geneva, 3 January 2024 - Responding to a devastating magnitude 7.6 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the Ishikawa Prefecture, the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) has mobilized swiftly. The events of New Year’s Day have caused extensive damage, disrupting power, water supplies, communications, and transportation. Tragically, at least sixty-two lives have been lost, with many more injured.
In the immediate aftermath, JRCS's nationwide network was activated, with staff from the Tokyo headquarters rapidly deployed for assessment and coordination. Local chapters, supported by Red Cross hospitals and Blood Centres, initiated response actions. Echoing the spirit of solidarity, neighboring JRCS branches have dispatched additional relief teams.
Nobuaki Sato, Deputy Director General of the International Department of the JRCS, said:
“The earthquake shook the country to its maximum intensity and triggered the highest tsunami alert, and people could not help but be reminded of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami 13 years ago. We did not encounter a major tsunami, but there is a long way to go to promote the more rapid evacuation of people, search and rescue for missing people, support for evacuees and their recovery. The Japanese Red Cross Society will stay close to the people affected and provide support.”
The JRCS’s robust disaster preparedness, marked by a well-orchestrated deployment of resources and personnel, has been crucial in this rapid response. This readiness is vital in a country like Japan, frequently confronted with seismic activities.
Alexander Matheou, Regional Director for Asia Pacific of the IFRC, remarked:
“We are with the Japanese Red Cross Society during these trying times, especially those displaced and traumatized by the earthquake. Although the Asia-Pacific Region is prone to frequent disasters, it has also proven itself to be leading the way in life-saving prevention, preparedness, resilience, and humanitarian innovation, sending us a strong message about the urgent need to strengthen humanitarian responses to disasters and crises.
We thank our teams on the ground for the swift response, and we acknowledge that the impact will be psychological not just physical. The IFRC stands ready to support.”
The IFRC, through its East Asia Delegation, remains closely engaged with the JRCS, ensuring a coordinated approach in addressing both the immediate and future challenges posed by this disaster.
To request an interview, please contact: [email protected]
In Kaula Lumpur:
Afrhill Rances: +60 19 271 3641
Tommaso Della Longa: +41 79 708 43 67
Mrinalini Santhanam: +41 76 381 50 06