Quake-hit citizens visit city halls to apply for support fund from donations

Residents of six municipalities in Ishikawa Prefecture hit hard by the New Year's Day earthquake have started visiting city halls to apply for financial support funded by donations from across Japan and elsewhere.

All residents of Nanao, Wajima and Suzu cities and the towns of Shika, Anamizu and Noto are to receive 50,000 yen, or about 335 dollars, each from the prefecture.

The prefecture had already started accepting applications online or via post on February 26. On Monday, counters for the program were opened at nine locations within the prefecture.

More than 50 residents visited the Noto Town office early on Monday to fill in application forms and check documents.

A resident in his 70s says he appreciates the support as he lives on pensions alone. He says he plans to use the money to repair his damaged home.

The money is expected to be handed out three weeks to one month after the application is made.

The prefecture will also tap donations to provide additional payments to residents or families based on the damage they suffered from the jolt.

Prefectural officials say the amount will be 200,000 yen for each person who was killed or went missing in the disaster. Those who suffered serious injuries will receive 100,000 yen.

Households whose homes were destroyed will be given 200,000 yen each, and those with partially damaged homes will receive 50,000 yen to 150,000 yen, depending on the degree of damage.