Aug 2020


Typhoon Hagibis: Helping Iwaki community get back on its feet

Disaster relief efforts in Iwaki, Fukushima have been ongoing after the damage caused by the 2019 Typhoon Hagibis. From January of 2020, Peace Boat Disaster Relief (PBV) has been working towards reviving the disaster-affected community by providing supplies to local community centers. We hope that the supplies can be useful and help the community get back on its feet.

However, due the COVID-19 pandemic, activities for community spaces that we planned on passing on to local organizations were halted as people were unable to assemble at community centers. The city of Iwaki endured the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, and now has once again been struck by Typhoon Hagibis. Residents say that if the area suffers an outbreak of COVID-19, then they won’t be able to get back on their feet again.

Since Iwaki can no longer obstruct the recovery of the city’s outskirts, it has canceled all local events through September and has made personnel adjustments to strengthen recovery efforts within the area. Even now, half of all homes that experienced water damage have still not been rebuilt, and there are even residents whose first floors were flooded and have been forced to live only on their second floor. While not many, there are still some residents who are unable to use their kitchen and struggle to provide meals for themselves every day. It is clear that even the recovery of the outskirts of the city will still take time.

Even if we are unable to go on-site, we are steadily doing what we can by providing necessary materials to community centers, servicing fences and lights, and providing sanitary goods to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have delivered goods to meet nearly every request we have received. Some areas have even began to restart community activities and other events, while keeping to COVID-19 guidelines.

Chief Administrators from each district have said the following:

“We are extremely happy to have received these wonderful goods”

“Everyone in the community was very delighted”

“The area was gloomy due to the disaster, but thanks to the support, people have gathered and are happily working together”

“Please come back again to Iwaki and visit the community center”

These are just a few of the many pleasant messages we have received.

The current situation is still preventing us from visiting, and while having to wait is frustrating, we will continue to work closely with the affected areas and provide relief to support their recoveries.

These activities are made possible thanks to the generous support from the specified nonprofit corporation Japan Platform (JPF) and the U.S. based Center for Disaster Philanthropy. We continue to ask for your kind assistance in helping fund our activities. Please visit our donation page for more information. Thank you for your continued support!