Japan: Nearly 3,000 Evacuees Taken To Hospitals By Ambulances From Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi Earthquake Shelters

Nearly 3,000 taken to hospitals by ambulances from quake shelters (Japan Times):

TOKYO — Nearly 3,000 evacuees living in shelters in three of the northeastern Japan prefectures worst affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami have been taken to hospital by ambulance, according to a Kyodo News survey released Tuesday.

At least 2,816 evacuees suffering from stress and poor hygienic conditions were rushed to hospitals from shelters in coastal parts of the Pacific prefectures Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi, the survey of 15 local fire departments showed.

A total of 871 were taken to hospitals from cities and towns of Ishinomaki, Higashi-Matsuyama and Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture while 299 were taken to hospitals from Sendai, with another 248 taken to hospitals from the Shiogama area.

In Iwate Prefecture, 298 were taken to hospitals from the Miyako area, while 149 were taken to hospitals from Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, the poll showed.

Japanese Red Cross Ishinomaki Hospital said the number of people taken urgently to the hospital in April was 4,084, compared with the monthly average of around 1,800.

Masaaki Abe, chief of the hospital’s planning and coordination department, said, the number shot up ‘‘because the period of living in the stressful conditions of shelters has been prolonged and many victims have continued to live in damaged homes where hygienic conditions are poor.’‘

National Police Agency statistics show some 110,000 evacuees are now living in more than 2,000 shelters in 18 prefectures. Of the total, more than 90,000 have taken refuge in 890 shelters in the three prefectures of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima.

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