• Jiji


A key hospital in Miyagi Prefecture is unable to receive emergency outpatients after sustaining some damage from Saturday’s earthquake off the neighboring prefecture of Fukushima.

At Miyagi Hospital, the only general hospital in the town of Yamamoto, a wall collapsed in the emergency outpatient division, while ruptured pipes caused water leaks, leaving beds for patients and medical equipment unusable, according to hospital officials.

It is uncertain when the hospital will be able to receive emergency patients again, they said.

“This hospital serves as the region’s medical service center,” said hospital deputy head Kinya Hisanaga. “We’ll make efforts so that we’ll be able to handle emergency cases soon.”

None of the 260 inpatients at the hospital were injured in the quake. But their meals have been switched to emergency provisions because of the water outage.

Drinking water is obtained from a water supply truck. The hospital also needs water to keep mechanical ventilators working and toilets and other places clean.

“Many people are in trouble. I hope the hospital will be restored quickly,” said a woman in her 30s who has used the hospital.

In Yamamoto, the 7.3-magnitude quake measured a lower 6, the third-highest level on the Japanese earthquake intensity scale.

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