Portable toilets distributed to residents in quake-hit Suzu City

The quake-hit city of Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, has distributed portable toilets to residents who are struggling with the prolonged suspension of water supplies.

The powerful earthquake on New Year's Day damaged the city's water infrastructure.

Water had been restored for 370 households in the city, or about 10 percent of the total, as of March 15.

But some people are still unable to use the toilets in their homes because their septic tanks were damaged by the quake.

On Wednesday, city officials handed out 500 sets of portable toilets, consisting of black plastic bags and coagulant agent. One set is the equivalent of 100 disposable toilets.

People gathered at a gymnasium before the distribution began.

A woman in her 40s said that she turns the faucet on every day but no water comes out. She says she has to find a temporary toilet or a place where she can get water to flush her toilet. She says the portable toilet is very helpful.

Maeda Yoshinori of the Suzu City office says many people who returned to their homes after evacuation are still without running water. He said that the city will continue to provide people with what they need to help their lives return to normal.