Japanese Panel Seeks to Use Vacant Houses in Event of Major Quake (News)


Tokyo, Aug. 29 (Jiji Press)—A Japanese government advisory panel on Tuesday proposed utilizing private vacant houses and rooms to provide temporary housing in the event of a major earthquake.

The experts' panel set up by the Cabinet Office said the government needs to determine the location of vacant houses and rooms that can be used in the event of a disaster beforehand to secure candidate places for temporary housing.

The panel called on the central and local governments to consider procedures for affected people to use such housing and set rules for living in such places safely in advance.

"We want to further consider the issue in details over a year or two," Okonogi Hachirō, minister for disaster management, told a press conference.

The panel said it estimates that up to some five million buildings will be badly damaged or destroyed and a maximum of some 2.05 million temporary accommodations will be needed in the event of the occurrence of a magnitude 9 earthquake in Nankai Trough areas off Japan's central to southwestern coast.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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