Children Are at Risk Following the 2024 Noto Japan Earthquake

  • Thousands of families lost their homes when the 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Japan's remote Noto peninsula on New Year's Day.
  • Children in the affected areas need food and shelter and basic support such as a safe place to play and learn.
  • Save the Children is providing children with emotional support as well as critical supplies. 

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1. When and where did the earthquake strike?

The 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Japan's remote Noto peninsula on New Year's Day, toppling buildings and sparking a major fire.  A major tsunami warming was issued for the Noto peninsula as a result of the coastal location of the earthquake.

It was the largest earthquake that the country has seen since the deadly 2011 quake that hit North East Japan. Sadly, the death toll reached more than 230.


2. Are earthquakes common in Japan?

Japan is prone to earthquakes due to the four tectonic plates that meet in the country. In 2011, Japan experienced a devastating earthquake resulting in the death of nearly 20,000 people. Tragically,  most of the casualties were the result of devastating tsunami waves. The earthquake also triggered nuclear plant meltdowns in Fukushima.

Japan accounts for about 20% of the world's 6-magnitude-or-greater earthquakes. Each year, the country experiences nearly 2,000 earthquakes.

3. How have children and families in Japan been impacted by the earthquake? 

Thousands of families lost their homes when the deadly earthquake struck. The quake toppled homes and sparked a major fire. 

Some schools have been unable to reopen in the hardest-hit cities and towns, and authorities are still assessing structural damage following the earthquake and aftershocks. 

4. What are the challenges to the ongoing relief efforts? 

Access to affected areas, including the northernmost part of the Noto Peninsula, has been hampered by destroyed roads and adverse weather conditions, including snow and rain. 

5. How is Save the Children responding to the needs of earthquake survivors in Japan? 

Save the Children has opened a child-friendly space at an evacuation center in Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture. The space gives displaced children a chance to run and play with each other after enduring days of uncertainty and distress following the massive quake and its multiple aftershocks. 

"Children in the affected areas need food and shelter and basic support such as a safe place to play, learn, and connect with friends and loved ones. That is the most important part of mental health and psychosocial support," said Miyuki Akasaka, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Technical Advisor for Save the Children in Japan.

"In the affected areas, there is a lack of information about children due to the large number of elderly people. Therefore, not having adequate and appropriate child-centred emergency support at this stage may affect children's mental health and psychosocial well-being. Save the Children provides children and their families with what they need, including setting up child-friendly Spaces, which are safe places for children to play and recover."

Save the Children has also provided emergency children's kits, soft toys to children at the evacuation shelter in Nanao, and leaflets providing psychological first aid guidance. 

6. How can I help survivors of the Japan earthquake?

Your donation to the Children's Emergency Fund enables us to respond to crises around the world, whether from conflict, climate change or natural disasters.

How to Help Children Impacted by Earthquakes and Disasters

Without immediate support, the world’s most vulnerable children are at risk of physical and emotional harm with devastating, lifelong consequences. That’s why Save the Children works in the hardest-to-reach places, where it’s toughest to be a child. But we need your help. Your donation to the Children's Emergency Fund supports our work in the U.S. and around the world helping children and their communities prevent, prepare for and recover from earthquakes as well as climate-induced disasters.

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