Four months after the Noto quake, 4,600 remain in evacuation centers

Four months after a powerful earthquake struck Ishikawa Prefecture's Noto Peninsula on January 1, more than 4,600 people remain in evacuation centers.

The magnitude 7.6 quake -- which measured 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 0 to seven -- caused 245 confirmed deaths, while three people remain missing.

A total of 78,568 buildings sustained damage. Over 10 percent of them -- or 8,142 -- were completely destroyed.

Efforts are being made to accelerate the construction of temporary housing in affected communities. As of the end of April, over 3,300 housing units -- more than half the number deemed necessary by the prefecture -- had been built.

Although the number of evacuees moving into temporary housing is rising, 4,606 are still sheltering in evacuation centers.

About 3,780 households -- many of them in the cities of Suzu and Wajima -- are still without water. The situation has prevented many evacuees from returning home.

Ishikawa Prefecture aims to repair the water infrastructure in most affected areas by the end of May.

It also plans to further accelerate the construction of temporary housing with the goal of accommodating all applicants by August.