housing, mainichi shinbun, onagawa, temporary housing

3-story temporary housing complex opened to disaster refugees in Miyagi town, mainichi, 11/5/11

A recently completed three-story temporary housing complex is pictured in the Miyagi Prefecture town of Onagawa on Nov. 4. (Mainichi)

A recently completed three-story temporary housing complex is pictured in the Miyagi Prefecture town of Onagawa on Nov. 4. (Mainichi)

ONAGAWA, Miyagi — A three-story temporary housing complex for victims of the March 11 disasters — the first of its kind in Japan — was completed here on Nov. 4, paving the way for the closure of the town’s disaster shelters next week.

The completion of the six blocks of three-storied temporary housing was announced by the Miyagi Prefectural Government, opening new accommodations for a total of 144 households.

Evacuees will start moving into the housing complex on Nov. 6 before the town closes its shelters on Nov. 9. The complex is the last to be completed among a total of 22,042 temporary housing units that have been built in 15 cities and towns in Miyagi Prefecture.

Since some 80 percent of Onagawa’s land area is mountainous, there is little flat upland suitable for the construction of temporary housing units. The town made the most of the limited land area, building the three-story complex from stacked, modified shipping containers on a public baseball field from August. The town had planned to start moving evacuees into the new buildings in October, but the schedule was pushed back due to a typhoon.

“I was going to go crazy at one point because there were too many people at the shelter. I’m happy to have my own private space,” said a 73-year-old disaster evacuee, who has been living in a nearby gym for seven months.

Iwate Prefecture had already completed the construction of all of its 13,984 temporary housing units on Aug. 11, while Fukushima Prefecture had built 15,459 units out of a planned 16,310 units as of Nov. 1.

(Mainichi Japan) November 5, 2011

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About liz

from the u.s., recently moved from kobe to sendai, japan, researching community-based housing recovery after disaster.

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