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Friday, 19th August 2011
In General Japan News,

Recovery efforts continuing in Japan

In the five months since Japan's north-eastern coast was devastated by a deadly earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese Red Cross Society has collected more than 259 billion yen (£2 billion) in relief money, it has been reported.

Looking at the recovery effort in numbers, Reuters estimates that nearly half of this money has gone to the victims of the disaster, with the rest still to be allocated by local governments.

In total, it is believed that nearly 15,700 people died, although a further 4,740 are still missing. Thousands more were badly injured in the aftermath of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake, which caused a massive tsunami to overwhelm the region.

A total of 5.6 million people lost their homes in the disaster, with almost 10,000 people still living in evacuation shelters. Altogether, the damage to buildings saw 22.6 million tonnes of rubble deposited across Japan's north-east.

So far, nearly half of this has been removed in what is one of the largest ever cleanup operations in the country's history. The government aims to have removed debris from all residential areas by the end of August, although removing all of the wreckage including buildings that were badly damaged during the incident could take several more years.

It is intended that all of the rubble currently being stored will be disposed of by the end of March 2014.

Altogether, the government has calculated that the material cost of the March 11th disaster is approximately 16.9 trillion yen (£134 billion).

While the human and economic costs of the catastrophe were massive, there have been chances for human kindness and spirit to shine through, not just in the generous amount of relief money raised.

In fact, earlier this week, it was reported that as much as £50 million had been recovered from the rubble and handed in to authorities to be returned to its rightful owners.

Written by Susan Ballion