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Japan: Floods and Mudslides - Information Bulletin n° 1

Publication date

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.
In Brief

This Information Bulletin (no. 01/2004) is being issued for information only. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

Nearly 20,000 residents of Niigata prefecture in north-western Japan have been evacuated to 100 evacuation centres due to flooding triggered by torrential rains that began on Tuesday, 13 July. Excessive amounts of rain have overwhelmed the riverbanks of three of the prefecture's rivers, and triggered mudslides at 370 different locations. To date there have been five people reported dead while two people remain missing. According to the local government, 24,000 houses were damaged due to the floods and mudslides.

Rescue teams, local police and the Self Defense Forces were dispatched Tuesday night to help local residents who were trapped in their houses. Helicopters were mobilised early Wednesday morning to rescue the isolated residents. Some 1,000 students and 250 school staff in 13 schools were also trapped because of the flooding. The students and the staff were forced to remain in the schools Wednesday night as they were unable to get home.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

Under the coordination and liaison of the Japanese Red Cross Society's (JRCS) National Head Office in Tokyo, the JRCS Niigata Chapter responded quickly to the floods and commenced with the collection of relief items. Other local chapters of the JRCS from the surrounding area have also supported the Niigata chapter's activities by providing relief items. As of Wednesday 14 July, the chapter had gathered over 13,000 blankets, 5,000 daily expendable sets, and 3,700 comfort set for distribution in the flood affected area. One medical team from the local Red Cross Hospital was also dispatched to the evacuation centre.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Japan: Japanese Red Cross Society, Naoki Kokawa, Director, International Relief Division,, phone: 81 3 3437 7088, fax: 81 3 3435 8509

In China: East Asia Regional Delegation in Beijing: John Sparrow, Regional Information delegate, phone: 86 10 65327 162, fax86 10 65327166

In Geneva: Asia and Pacific Department, Satoshi Sugai, Regional Officer,, Phone: 41 22 7304 273, fax: 41 22 730 8509

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at

For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.