This is to express our sincere thanks to your heartfelt support for such a disastrous earthquake occurred on April 15th and 16th, 2016 in Kumamoto area, Kyushu, Japan.
I moved from Chiba to Saga, which is my home country, 2 years ago and now almost settled in there. Since among the members I now live and work at the most nearest place to Kumamoto, it may be my duty to report about a brief summary of Kumamoto Earthquake occurred about two weeks ago. Kumamoto is located at 80 km south-east of Saga in Kyushu Island of Japan.
The first attack of magnitude-6.5 occurred on April 15 which was originally believed as the main earthquake. However, it was actually not, but the next attack of magnitude-7.3 at 1:26 am on April 16 was the real one. Since then, more than 1,100 times of earthquakes occurred for more than two weeks though the frequency and strength are getting smaller. So far 67 people died of it and several thousands got injured, with 100,000 people escaped from their houses at the time of main earthquakes. More than 45,000 houses were destroyed or severely damaged. Even now, more than 22,000 people still live outside their houses. It was symbolic that turrets of the Kumamoto castle built in seventeenth-century, one of the most beautiful treasures, were partly destroyed.
My hospital Saga Medical Center KOSEIKAN (general hospital with cancer center) sent DMAT and DPAT teams to Kumamoto just after the first attack on April 15, and accepted 7 severely injured patients by Dr-Heli. Now the economy-class syndrome frequently occurs because many escaped people live in their cars. Psychological care of the refugees is also getting to be required.
Now many volunteers are gathering to Kumamoto from all over Japan and even from abroad. On the other hand, the recovery of Kumamoto is also amazingly rapid because the Kumamoto airport has recently re-opened, the Sinkansen has already started to fully work.
Kumamoto is very famous by having the Aso mountain with a huge active volcano, but has long been believed that the earthquake struck is pretty rare. We learned a lot of things from this time of unexpected earthquake in Kumamoto.
Thanks again for all of your heartfelt support to Kumamoto from all over the world.
Looking forward to seeing all of you in Moscow (SIOP-Asia) soon and Dublin in October, 2016.
Akira Nakagawara (former SIOP Asia President)
CEO, Saga Medical Center KOSEIKAN