By Maya Kaneko
ONAGAWA, Japan, April 15, Kyodo
A hospital with a nursing home for the elderly that was severely damaged by the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last year in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture made a fresh start Sunday, with the facility rebuilt with donations from Switzerland.
The only medical institution in the coastal town of about 8,300 people was refurbished at a cost of some 1.9 billion yen shouldered by the Swiss Red Cross. The first floor of the four-story building on a hill 16 meters above sea level was destroyed by tidal waves that reached 1.95 meters above the hospital’s ground level.
The Onagawa Community Medical Center now has 19 beds for patients and 100 beds for the elderly residing in the nursing home section. The hospital, which was run by the town government at the time of the disaster, was privatized last October.