Habitat For Humanity Japan Masses Volunteers For Relief Operation

March 18th, 2011

Funds Needed To Support Response To Japan Earthquake And Tsunami

A man walking past a collapsed house amid heavy snowfall in Sendai, northern Japan, on 16th March, a few days after a devastating earthquake struck the country. Photo: Reuters/Kim Hyung-hoon, courtesy Trust.org –

SINGAPORE, 18th March 2011: Habitat for Humanity Japan is asking people living in Japan who are willing to volunteer and help with the clean-up operation after last week’s earthquake and tsunami to register their interest. At a later stage, volunteers from outside Japan may also be needed.

“It may be several weeks still before we know how and when people can help, but we are taking names now so we are ready to go when the time is right,” Kentaro Yamazaki, Habitat for Humanity Japan’s manager of national office, said.

“We regularly send local and Japanese-based foreign volunteers – more than 800 a year – to support projects overseas, and now help is needed on their doorstep. If you are unable to come forward as a volunteer, please donate so we are able to help those most in need.”

Habitat for Humanity International currently has an assessment team in Japan, and together with Habitat for Humanity Japan, are liaising with government authorities and other organizations on how to best support the relief effort.

In the short-term, Habitat for Humanity expects its response to include mobilizing volunteers in Japan to work with other organizations in the relief operation, like beginning the clean-up process.

A longer-term plan will then be plotted, when the full extent of the damage is known and the best course of action identified. Habitat for Humanity expects that its response to the earthquake and tsunami could last for up to two years.

Those interested in volunteering should email [email protected].

To donate, please visit altenheime-hamburg.info or .

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on Friday, 11th March, was the largest to ever hit the country since recordings began. The earthquake created extremely large tsunami waves of up to 10 meters (33 feet) that struck Japan minutes after the quake, in some cases travelling up to 10 kilometers (six miles) inland.

The earthquake struck 130 kilometers (81 miles) east of Sendai city, Japan, and this, plus the subsequent tsunami, has wrought massive destruction along the Pacific coastline of Japan’s northern islands.

The death toll has now risen to over 5,000 people, with over 2,500 people injured and over 8,500 people still missing, and numbers are expected to rise further.

A third, and still unfolding disaster, is nuclear radiation caused by explosions from nuclear plants damaged by the earthquake and tsunami.

Habitat for Humanity Japan is the Japanese chapter of Habitat for Humanity International. HFH Japan was officially registered in 2001 to handle the increasing number of volunteers and to advance a currently insufficient level of building activity.

Each year, HFH Japan sends hundreds of volunteers overseas via to help build and repair homes for low-income families. In addition to this, HFH Japan raises funds to support house building in developing countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and post-disaster reconstruction around the world.

Habitat for Humanity International is a global non-government organization that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than two million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit altenheime-hamburg.info/asiapacific.