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Signs of Hope for Japanese Evacuees, But Aid Still Slow

7 years ago83 views

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Quake and tsunami survivors in Japan see signs of hope as temporary housing is being built. In one fishing town, 36 temporary houses are near completion, and residents will move in this weekend. But, there's been criticism that aid is still slow in reaching those in most need.

Many tsunami victims are still struggling here in cramped evacuation centers and on soup kitchens. It's been nearly four weeks since Japan's earthquake and tsunami killed nearly 28,000 people and rendered more than 160-thousand homeless.

But small signs of hope and progress come in the form of temporary houses—in this fishing town of Rikuzentakata, 36 temporary houses are being readied for people to move in on Sunday.

Workers are busy installing refrigerators and washing machines donated to the temporary houses by the Red Cross. The two-bedroom container houses are also equipped with televisions and air conditioners.

A total of 200 temporary homes will fill the playground of Rikuzentakata No.1 public high school in months, and up to 2,000 will be built citywide.

The Japanese Red Cross has borne the brunt of this criticism having collected an unprecedented $1.3 billion in donations from the public.

[Tadateru Konoe, President, Japanese Red Cross]:
"Right now some have nothing, nothing to eat, having run out of their homes without even their wallets. So people are asking us to hurry up and distribute the money and that is natural. But there are still so many people missing, the local authorities are in chaos, and everyone is dispersed across many evacuation centers. So it's technically very difficult to distribute all this aid equitably."

The organization will also receive relief money from Red Cross groups around the world.

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