Tenrikyo Disaster Relief Hinokishin Corps Takes Action in Miyazaki

Tenrikyo Disaster Relief Hinokishin Corps was mobilized in Miyazaki Prefecture, which was hit by Typhoon No. 14 (Typhoon Nabi) on September 6. The typhoon left 25 people dead and three missing in Japan. Thirteen districts in Miyazaki City were lashed by heavy rain that was about double the average monthly precipitation. A total of 7,889 buildings in the prefecture were inundated, and some of them were partially or completely destroyed. Typhoon Nabi came closest to Miyazaki Prefecture on September 6. The water level of the Oyodo River, which runs across Miyazaki City, went up as high as 30 to 40 centimeters below the top of an embankment in the early morning of that day. The city ordered 20,000 residents to evacuate their homes and also closed floodgates between the main stream of the Oyodo River and its upper streams to limit the amount of water flowing into the main stream from the upper streams. Because of that, the main stream did not overflow, and the center of the city did not have much damage. However, since the water was stopped by the floodgates, the upper streams flooded over their banks. Approximately 2,000 houses in Komatsu, Uryuno, Atoe, Tomiyoshi, Ikime, and other districts were flooded above floor level. In the evening, Miyazaki Diocese Corps Director Taro Terada visited the disaster-stricken areas to survey the damage and collected reports from those areas. On the next day, Miyazaki Diocese set up a disaster counteraction committee with Diocese Superintendent Takashi Suzuki as chairman and sent the diocese corps to churches that were flooded above floor level. Also, on September 9 and 10, receiving a request from Nobeoka City, the Nobeoka District Corps performed disaster relief hinokishin in the city. On the 10th, in order to help other people in the flooded areas, Diocese Superintendent Suzuki and Diocese Corps Director Terada asked the headquarters of Tenrikyo Disaster Relief Hinokishin Corps for help and notified Miyazaki City’s social welfare council of their desire to engage in relief efforts. The city’s disaster counteraction bureau requested them to conduct activities in Komatsu between September 12 and 14, and the headquarters corps, consisting of diocese corps from Oita, Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, and Miyazaki, was organized and dispatched to the district to do hinokishin. In Komatsu, about 600 buildings had been flooded above floor level, and there were some places where the flood tide had gone up as high as three meters, thus inundating their entire ground floors. The roadsides were lined with piles of bulky wastes generated from flooded houses, including furniture and tatami mats. On the morning of September 12, the corps brought in 10 two-ton trucks to remove the wastes from the district. Those wastes had been soaked in flood water, and one tatami mat weighed 60 to 70 kilograms so that it had to be carried off by four people. The members of the corps also scooped away sludge that had accumulated in the streets with shovels and also swept it away with brooms. In the afternoon, the corps added five more trucks and used high-pressure water jet equipment to wash away mud that had been carried into houses by the flooding. The amount of wastes removed by the corps during the three days was 268 truckloads. The number of people who participated in the headquarters corps was 310. There were many people and associations who expressed appreciation for the corps’s contribution. Shogo Kawagoe, head of a volunteer center, said: “There are many groups which were involved in disaster relief operations. I would like Tenrikyo Disaster Relief Hinokishin Corps to be a model for all because it has a very reliable system of command and control. They helped us a great deal because there were so many participants in the corps.” Morio Saito, who is in charge of disaster prevention in the general affairs section of Miyazaki City, said, “A great number of citizens are very thankful to the corps and are relieved because of its quick response to their needs.” The Yamaguchi Diocese Corps was also mobilized between September 10 and 16 in Mikawa, Yamaguchi Prefecture, which was also struck hard by Typhoon Nabi.

Share this article:

Comments are closed.