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Kanako Yasukawa and her eight-year-old daughter take part in a game at a children’s play space open for survivors of the earthquake in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, January 31, 2024. REUTERS/Sakura Murakami

One month on from Japan quake, volunteers provide safe space for kids

One month on from Japan quake, volunteers provide safe space for kids

SUZU, Japan (Reuters) – One month on from a magnitude 7.6 earthquake that struck the west coast of Japan, volunteers from non-profit organisation Katariba play cards and other games with children in a Suzu city school classroom. Sometimes they just read side by side.

Some of kids are still living in evacation centres, where it is difficult to play. Others have parents who are busy trying to deal with the task of rebuilding homes and livelihoods since the quake, so it’s important to provide children with a safe place, says Katariba member Yoshiki Itashiki.

The service has been been a godsend, says Kanako Yasukawa, adding that schools in Suzu are still only operating on a shortened day basis and she has to work.

After her daughter was temporarily evacuated to a different city, the service made it easier for her to come back.

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“I couldn’t have made the decision to have my daughter live here with me unless we had this,” she said.

More than 13,600 people in Ishikawa prefecture where Suzu city is located are still living in evacuation centres.


(Reporting by Sakura Murakami and Tom Bateman; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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