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More than 100,000 survivors of the earthquakes that have hit the Chuetsu region in Niigata Prefecture have had to take shelter in schools and vehicles.

It will take some time before their lives can return to normal as many houses have been destroyed, and water and gas have yet to be restored.

To help the victims, local governments, the Japanese Red Cross Society and convenience stores nationwide are setting up relief funds and asking people to do volunteer work.

Relief funds

Japanese Red Cross Society

Places to donate: Post offices

Account name: Japanese Red Cross Society Niigata Prefecture branch

Account number: 00530-2-2000

(Donors should write “Niigata jishin” in the comments space on the postal transfer slip.)

Niigata Prefectural Government

Places to donate: Post offices

Account name: Niigata-ken saigai taisaku honbu

Account number: 00510-8-725

(Donors should write “Chuetsu jishin” in the comments space.)

Setagaya Ward

Those who want to make a donation should call the ward office’s residents’ activities promotion division at (03) 5432-2232 for their relief fund account numbers.

Japan Post

Post offices will not charge remittance fees for donations to task forces set up by area governments in the quake zone.

Hanshin-Awaji Network for Disaster Survivors (1/17 Kibo no Akarai)

Places to donate: Post offices

Account name: Kibo no Akari

Account number: 01120-7-70117

(Donors should write “Jishin” in the comments space.)

Convenience stores

Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Lawson Inc. and FamilyMart Co. have placed donation boxes in their convenience stores.

Volunteering

People who want to volunteer in the quake-hit area should first call volunteer centers set up in the region to get more information, including how to get there and whether the areas need more volunteers. Center staff only speak Japanese.

The volunteer centers require people to secure their own accommodations, meals and warm clothing.

When they arrive in the afflicted areas, they must first go to a center and purchase insurance for volunteers. The centers will assign work.

Niigata Prefecture Saigai Kyuen Volunteer Honbu: (025) 281-5527.

Nagaoka City Shakai Fukushi Kyogikai Volunteer Center: (0258) 33-6000

Kahiwazaki City Shakai Fukushi Kyogikai Volunteer Center: (0257) 22-1411

Tokamachi Volunteer Center: (0257) 52-2537 or 52-2589

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