Soka Gakkai Doctors and Nurses Provide Free Medical Care to Quake Victims
Relief and rescue efforts continue in Niigata Prefecture in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake measuring around 6.8 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 that hit the northwestern coast of Japan on July 16, 2007. The death toll stood at 11 on July 23. Several thousand evacuees are still living in shelters, some without bathing facilities, hot food or air-conditioning; close to 40% of the area is still without running water.
On July 22, Teruo Miyakawa, head of the Soka Gakkai Shinetsu Doctors Division, was part of a 4-member medical relief team providing free medical care to victims, especially the elderly. Members of the young women's nurses group were also on the scene, assisting doctors making rounds and comforting evacuees. Victims expressed a sense of relief and reassurance to receive diagnoses and treatment from medical professionals.
Immediately following the quake, the Soka Gakkai set up a local emergency operations center at its Niigata Ikeda Culture Center and opened its Kashiwazaki Makiguchi Commemorative Hall as an emergency shelter for evacuees. Soka Gakkai youth are continuing volunteer efforts to provide relief supplies and assistance to quake victims.
[Adapted from an article in the July 23, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]