Volunteer effort in quake-hit Noto to gather pace over spring holiday

An extended spring holiday known as Golden Week kicked off in Japan on Saturday, and some people will use theirs to volunteer in areas of Ishikawa Prefecture hit by a devastating earthquake.

Officials say more than 70,000 people have volunteered in areas affected since the disaster struck on New Year's Day.

They have helped to clean up waste, transport supplies and support evacuation centers.

Some residents of hard-hit Wajima City will begin moving into temporary housing units from Saturday.

Local officials have put flyers at city halls and other facilities serving as secondary evacuation centers, telling them to ask volunteers for help.

A university in Tokyo plans to send 16 students to Noto Town.

One student says he'll be good at helping move heavy objects. Another says she's been wanting to visit the area and help out.

The prefecture is urging volunteers to check in advance about the situation in their chosen destinations because some areas are still without essentials like running water.

Officials are also urging people to take regular breaks and stay hydrated, with temperatures expected to approach 25 degrees Celsius on some days.