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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 15, 2016 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

1. Opening remarks
An earthquake registering a maximum intensity of 7 centered in the Kumamoto region of Kumamoto Prefecture struck at around 21:26 yesterday, and it is necessary to remain vigilant regarding aftershocks. As of 7:00am today, the deaths of nine people and many injured people have been confirmed in Kumamoto Prefecture and other areas. I have been told that 44 people are seriously injured out of the 761 people transported to hospitals in Kumamoto Prefecture. There is also evidence of damages to and destruction of buildings. In light of these conditions, the Government formed a Prime Minister’s Office Response Team at the Prime Minister’s Office Crisis Management Center immediately after the earthquake occurred, and convened an emergency team of bureau-level officials from related ministries and agencies with the establishment an Emergency Response Headquarters. The second meeting of the Emergency Response Headquarters takes place today, and the Government continues to work in a unified manner to ascertain the full scope of damages not apparent during the nighttime and put its fullest efforts into disaster response actions with a top priority on victim relief and rescue. For relief and rescue efforts in the affected area, the support operations have broad regional scope, including about 1,600 Self-Defense Force members, 1,915 policemen, including 1,085 police officers from disaster dispatch units from outside the prefecture, 1,337 firefighters, including 555 firefighters from emergency assistance units from outside the prefecture, and over 1,600 prefectural firefighters. Additionally, the Government dispatched a survey team headed by State Minister of Cabinet Office Fumiaki Matsumoto today with goals of surveying the extent of damages and sharing views. The Government is also working with affected local government bodies to secure necessary goods, provide medical care, and operate refuge sites, and promoting unified efforts by related agencies for assistance to affected people. Lifeline disruptions roughly extend to 14,500 homes for electricity, 4,600 homes for gas, and 25,000 homes for water. For transportation, the Kyushu highway network has closures between Nankan and Ebino interchanges, Minami Kyushudo Yatsushiro to Hinagu interchanges, and Kyushu Chuodo Kashima and Mashiki interchanges, and the Kyushu Shinkansen train is totally shut down and eight conventional train lines suspended service. Kumamoto Airport, meanwhile, is operating without troubles.

2. Q&As


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