HELSTON, Cornwall, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The first Japanese families have moved in to ShelterBox tents less than two weeks after a quarter of a million people were made homeless by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.
The tents have been set up in villages in the Iwate Prefecture, where police say almost 11,000 structures were totally destroyed. More ShelterBox equipment has been requested across the region.
Mark Pearson, ShelterBox Field Operations Specialist, said: 'People have been living in very cramped, confined conditions in emergency shelters, cars, hotels and shared accommodation for nearly two weeks now and the cracks are starting to show.
'We're hearing that the authorities want to get these buildings, often schools, freed up as soon as possible so that life can carry on as normal.
'Temporary housing is being built but the sheer scale of this disaster means that it will take time to provide suitable housing for the estimated 261,000 people living in evacuation centres.'
The ShelterBox tent is large enough for an extended family. It can be put up inside a communal emergency shelter to provide privacy for the ill or the elderly. It also allows families the freedom to move back to their homes and begin the process of rebuilding and getting on with their lives.
Mr Hashimoto, a local politician from the Iawaiti Prefecture, said: 'It will be up to three months before temporary housing can be made available to those displaced by the tsunami. Many individuals forced to choose between crowded displacement centres or dependence on the hospitality of friends and neighbours will prefer the independence and privacy afforded by the ShelterBox solution.
'The displaced were concerned about the long wait ahead before the completion of government temporary housing and are relieved and grateful for the solution that ShelterBox has provided. In this season freezing winds blow across the coastlines and the opportunity to remain near their homes yet avoid this discomfort is being gratefully seized.'
ShelterBox were on the ground in Japan less than 24 hours after the earthquake struck and since then have been working around the clock to provide to help the families affected by the disaster.
SHELTERBOX DISASTER EXPERTS ARE AVAILABLE TO COMMENT - PLEASE CALL +44(0)7584489194
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NOTES TO EDITORS
ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that provides emergency shelter and life-saving supplies to families around the world who are affected by disasters. In ten short years ShelterBox have responded to earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, landslides, typhoons and conflict, delivering lifesaving aid to families across the globe at a time when they need it the most.
ShelterBox aims to help the areas where the need is greatest by providing shelter, warmth, comfort and dignity to families in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Each big, green ShelterBox is tailored to every disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water purification and storage equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children's activity pack and other vital items.
From the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, there is no disaster too big or too small for ShelterBox. Simply put, if there is an unmet need for emergency shelter, the charity will do everything in its power to meet that need.
ShelterBox relies entirely on public donations and could not operate without the generosity of people the world over. A box can be sponsored for GBP590 - this takes into account the costs of all materials, packing, storage, transport worldwide and delivery to families most in need at a time of disaster by a team of highly trained volunteers.
Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox has firmly established itself at the forefront of international disaster relief, providing emergency shelter for the people who need it most on every continent.
For all the latest information on ShelterBox's work around the world, including ways you can help, please visit http://www.shelterbox.org.