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Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Emergency appeal: Operation Niigata
By KEN JOSEPH
The Japan Emergency Team, a nongovernmental disaster relief group — in its 77th mission since its founding in 1987 — is currently carrying out "Operation Niigata" at sites affected by the 6.8-magnitude quake on June 16.
With many injured and thousands still in emergency shelters, the need is extremely great.
The team has just finished operations in the Wajima area of Ishikawa Prefecture. Ten team members have been on site assisting in the disaster centers, bringing in food, medicine and supplies.
The following supplies are needed:
Canned and instant food Water Emergency medical kits Rice Used laptop computers Towels Camping supplies Towels Sleeping bags Soap (No blankets are needed at the current time) In addition, the team operates a "disaster-relief vehicle" — a 10-meter emergency motor-home that goes to disaster sites to provide food, medical assistance, drinks, showers and other emergency help to victims.
The vehicle, which is normally on standby in the Tokyo area in case of disasters, was put to good use after the disaster at Usuzan in Hokkaido, for example.
As they prepared for the journey to the quake site, the team had a disaster of its own — a major "systems failure" prevented the disaster relief vehicle from being taken to the site to assist as usual.
Due to the specialized nature of the vehicle, the cost of repairing and replacing parts is estimated at some 2.8 million yen.
As a nonprofit organization 100-percent dependent on donations, the team is urgently requesting assistance from the international community.
Supplies should be sent, with the contents clearly marked, to:
Operation Niigata Box 65 Tokyo Japan 106-8691 Donations can be made online at www.jhelp.com or by postal transfer to: Yunbin Furikae 00160 7 162438, Nihon Kinkyu Enjotai (The Japan Emergency Team)