Kumamoto City International Center in the city of Kumamoto is offering shelter for non-Japanese residents affected by the current series of earthquakes, with multilingual translators available there to help.
The center, located in Chuo Ward, has made English-, Korean- and Chinese-language interpreters available, and visitors can make use of translation services in other languages via telephone, Etsushi Ito, a worker at the international exchange center, told The Japan Times over the phone on Saturday.
According to Ito, about 100 local residents have evacuated to the center, and about half of them are non-Japanese, mainly from other Asian countries.
Although the center is only open until 10 p.m., evacuees will be allowed to stay overnight at nearby elementary and junior high schools, Ito said.
The center has yet to receive any relief goods, but has distributed bottles of water or tea to each evacuee so far, Ito said.
“Some evacuees here want to leave Kumamoto and travel to Fukuoka. But all taxis and rental cars have been reserved and it’s difficult to move,” Ito said.
As of early Saturday afternoon, all local bus and train services had been suspended due to the repeated quakes, Ito added.
The address of the center is 4-18, Hanabatacho, in Kumamoto city, and the direct telephone number is 096-359-2121.
Additional information can be accessed at the center’s website.