Early support means Evacuation Centers are ‘safe’ for disabled people in Osaka

Written with extracts from The Sankei Shimbun

June 20th 2018

During the earthquake occurring in the northern part of Osaka Prefecture, the elderly and disabled people living alone moved to the evacuation center as many people needed assistance in the event of a disaster. “Even if I go home,” “Because everyone is safe”. The fear of frequent aftershocks and feeling of loneliness is strong, and relief is voiced that the person who is in the shelter is safe.

Kobayashi Chito (85), who evacuated to a primary school in Takatsuki city in Osaka Prefecture immediately after the outbreak, was physically handicapped, asked by an unknown man, and went down the stairs from the 6th floor of the apartment where the elevator stopped. “I would like to stay here forever as long as there is an earthquake, but I wonder if I can stay forever” speaking uneasily.

A woman with a mental illness (50) who entered another shelter in the city said, “I have already cleared home but I want to continue to stay at the evacuation center.” Thinking that aftershocks in the evening occurred it would be panic and left home. Officials said that they are relieved they were able to respond.

The second son of Elementary School sixth grade with developmental disability (11) and the part woman who is evacuated (45) thought that it would be more calm if it was in a wide place, and gathered himself to a shelter. “My home is narrow and my stress is increasing ,” I thought of my second son.

Takashi Yahata, secretary general of NPO corporation “Omikaze Fund” (Osaka City) that continues to support the affected people with disabilities, said “It is not necessary to forcibly return to their homes, listen to individual stories, It is necessary for the administration to create a system to connect home support earlier. “

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