National

Only 41% of Kobe quake survivors feel livelihoods back on track

Kyodo

Only 41 percent of the survivors of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake that devastated Kobe feel their lives are completely back on track, according to a survey of 207 people in subsidized housing in Hyogo Prefecture.

Of the remainder, 23 percent feel their lives have not sufficiently recovered and 12 percent feel they have seen little recovery.

The poll was conducted by Kyodo News from late December to early January in Kobe and nearby Nishinomiya, almost 20 years after the magnitude-7.3 quake rocked the region on Jan. 17, 1995, leaving more than 6,000 people dead.

Of the survivors polled, who were 73.7 years old on average, 54 percent said they were not receiving or were dissatisfied with local government support and only 21 percent said they were satisfied.

According to the survey, 92 percent called expanding or continuing such support. Among specific measures, housing assistance was cited by 67 percent and economic aid by 25 percent.

Subsidized housing was provided to people who lost their homes in the quake. At the end of last year, 4,197 households were living in such housing, but the 20-year subsidization period is set to expire around September.

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