• Kyodo

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Construction of all temporary housing units in Kumamoto Prefecture was completed Monday, paving the way for people forced from their homes by last April’s powerful earthquakes to start rebuilding their lives.

The last 42 homes to be finished were in the town of Mifune, one of 16 municipalities that received a total of 4,303 temporary homes.

Officials showed off the media six barrier-free houses built for people with disabilities in the town of Mashiki, one of the communities hit hardest by the string of strong quakes.

The prefecture’s first makeshift homes with barrier-free design boast flat entrances and wide bathrooms, allowing easy access for people in wheelchairs, the officials said.

In addition to the temporary homes, the prefectural government is securing 14,600 rented homes for affected residents.

“Moving forward, we now want to help residents secure permanent homes,” a prefectural official said.

The earthquakes killed 50 people and forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate.

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