Japan earthquake: Evacuees face sub-zero temperatures again
MANILA, 22 March 2011—Following a slight respite when temperatures rose a little above freezing, another cold front was forecast to move across the area where hundreds of thousands of people are sheltering after an earthquake and tsunami struck north-east Japan on 11 March and damaged nuclear power stations.
Officials put the number of people in evacuation centres at 319 122, down from 337 300 as a result of some people returning to where they had previously lived or moving elsewhere. The death toll was raised to more than 9000 as searchers continued to find bodies, with more than 13 200 still missing and over 2600 injured.
Gasoline supplies are said to have improved but supplies of basics such as blankets, diapers and toilet paper remain low. Cases of influenza-like illness and gastrointestinal infection have been reported at a number of evacuation shelters. Control measures include face masks for people with respiratory illnesses, the use of alcohol disinfectants, and increased fluid intake. However, supplies of masks and alcohol disinfectants are limited. Many elderly people have lost their daily medications.