Kumamoto marks anniversary of deadly quake

The southwestern Japanese prefecture of Kumamoto has held a ceremony to remember the people killed in the earthquakes one year ago.

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About 360 people observed a moment of silence at the start of Friday’s anniversary event at the prefectural office. The attendees included Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Kumamoto Governor Ikuo Kabashima and the families of those who died in the earthquakes.

The quakes killed 225 people. 169 of the deaths have been recognized as related to the quakes, such as falling ill at evacuation shelters. About 200,000 houses were completely or partially destroyed. About 47,000 people are still living in temporary housing.

In the ceremony, Abe said the government will do everything it can to reconstruct the affected areas, and work to help rebuild the peoples’ lives and businesses.

Mayumi Tominaga, representing the families of those who died, delivered a speech. She said the quakes caused hardship and sadness, but that she was lifted by the kindness of the people around her.

Tominaga said she thinks those who died would want the survivors to look up and move forward. She said she hopes people will overcome their sorrow, and that Kumamoto will be rebuilt into a city filled with vitality and smiles.

Source and image: NHK
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