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Public health response to the combined Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant accident: perspective from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan

Author(s): Tomoya Saito | Ayano Kunimitsu

Journal: Western Pacific Surveillance and Response
ISSN 2094-7321

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 7;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Great East Japan Earthquake | tsunami | nuclear | March 2011 | response

At 14:46 on 11 March 2011, eastern Japan was struck by the largest earthquake in Japan's recorded history. With the epicentre off the Sanriku coast, the magnitude 9.0 quake triggered a tsunami, which together with the effects of the quake ignited a serious accident at a nuclear power plant. The damage was grave and widespread with the death toll as of 9 November 2011 at 15 835 and the number of missing and unaccounted for at 3664.1 Immediately after the earthquake, the Japanese Government, local governments in the stricken areas, hospitals, external organizations and volunteers launched coordinated relief and recovery activities. The role of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in a disaster includes securing medical and nursing care, providing public health services and ensuring the safety of food and water supplies.
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