Quake survivors reluctant to relocate in Ishikawa

Many survivors of the massive earthquake that struck Japan's Noto Peninsula on New Year's Day are still living in temporary shelters. But they're reluctant to seek alternatives, out of fears about cost and securing meals.

Authorities in Ishikawa Prefecture say better-equipped facilities such as hotels can accommodate more than 30,000 people. But they say only about 3,300 have taken the option so far.

A man in his 30s sheltering at an elementary school in the town of Noto says he wanted to move, but was told meals would not be provided.

He says, "I don't know how much it would cost, or how long I would have to live there. The uncertainty is my biggest worry."

Japanese law says authorities must ensure food reaches disaster survivors. But one expert says hotels that can provide meals are already full.

Sugano Taku, Associate Professor of Osaka Metropolitan University, says the remaining facilities are mostly unable to offer three meals a day.

Ishikawa prefectural authorities told NHK that they are exploring more options, adding that they are asking business hotels and inns to help provide food.