East Japan Earthquake    March 11, 2011

Temporary housing construction begins in quake-stricken areas

March 20, 2011

RIKUZENTAKATA, Iwate Prefecture--Saturday marked the start of a massive effort to provide temporary housing to people displaced by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the catastrophic tsunami that it triggered. To start, 36 housing units are being erected on the grounds of a junior high school. When completed by the end of March, they will accommodate displaced town residents. In total, 200 houses will be built on the site. In nearby Kamaishi, 100 housing units will be erected. In Ofunato, also in Iwate Prefecture, and Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, teams are to begin construction work soon. At a groundbreaking ceremony at the Rikuzentakata site, Mayor Futoshi Toba said residents must move forward. He called the building project an "encouraging sign" for the future. Each 30-square-meter unit is equipped with a kitchen, toilet, bath and heater. People who resided in the same neighborhoods before the quake will be housed close to each other. A meeting hall will be built for every 50 houses, prefectural officials said. Land ministry officials said that about 8,800 provisional shelters are needed in Iwate Prefecture, 10,000 in Miyagi Prefecture and 14,000 in Fukushima Prefecture. Municipal governments hope to start building as soon as they can obtain the land and materials. (Mainichi)

Relief workers begin putting up temporary housing units in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, on Saturday. (Yasuhiro Sugimoto)

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