Aug 2013


PBV Responds to Flooding in Yamaguchi Prefecture

Yamaguchi Prefecture experienced severe flooding and landslides after a period of heavy rain in late July/early August of this year.

PBV dispatched an advanced team on August 2nd to assess the scale of the devastation and to determine the most effective way in which we could provide assistance to the affected communities. PBV personnel liaised with local organizations, such as the Social Welfare Councils in Yamaguchi City and Hagi City, to build ties with the local area and to gain a more thorough understanding of the situation on the ground.

Over 1,500 homes have sustained damage from flooding and landslides, affecting thousands of people across the area.

Overflowing rivers and persistent rainfall led to the destruction of not only homes, but also public buildings, train tracks and electricity poles, leading to power outages across the area.

Floods and landslides also affected local agriculture, destroying many apple farms (for which the area is renowned) and disrupting many livelihoods.

There has been some support from governmental authorities to the affected communities; however, most families are not provided with any support in cleaning and/or rebuilding damaged homes. Given the number of elderly residents and the scale of the devastation, there is a clear need for volunteers to assist in this kind of physical work.

Working closely with local organizations, such as the Yamaguchi City Social Welfare Council, experienced PBV personnel are helping to coordinate other volunteer groups and are conducting needs assessments.

A number of graduates from PBV’s Disaster Relief Volunteer Leader Training course are also serving as team leaders in the field, where mud and debris removal activities are the main focus.

Many areas that have been covered in mud and debris are difficult to access and are not suitable for heavy machinery. In these situations, volunteers are needed to remove mud and debris from both inside and outside flooded houses and assist with general clean-up of damaged properties.

In spite of the soaring temperatures and physically draining work, PBV will continue to conduct relief activities in the Yamaguchi area until at least the end of August.