International Medical Corps is deploying members of its emergency response team to Japan to assess the needs after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the southwestern city of Kumamoto-shi. The earthquake, which struck at 1:25 am local time on April 16, comes just one day after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake rocked the area along with several strong aftershocks.
The experts deployed to Japan will join colleagues from International Medical Corps’ office in Tokyo and together, the team will work in support of the Government of Japan and local organizations to assess needs and deliver assistance, if needed.
Though casualty figures are not yet available, initial reports indicate additional collapsed structures in Kumamoto following the earthquake. Nine people were killed and more than 800 injured in the previous day’s earthquake. Some 44,000 people were also evacuated to shelters and community centers, while the Government of Japan deployed more than 3,000 first responders to Kyushu, the site of the 6.2-magnitude earthquake, for rescue and recovery efforts.
International Medical Corps was on the ground 48 hours after the devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011. The team worked with local partners following the earthquake and tsunami to deliver critical humanitarian services, including hot meals, medicines, telecommunications equipment, and mental health and psychosocial services and training.
In addition to the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, International Medical Corps has responded in the aftermath of historic earthquakes such as the 2015 Nepal earthquake, 2010 Haiti earthquake, and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.