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6,431 people remain in evacuation 2 months after Kumamoto quake

Residents affected by the Kumamoto Earthquake receive keys to temporary housing units during a briefing session held ahead of moving in to those facilities, in Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, on June 14, 2016. (Mainichi)

Two months after the deadly Kumamoto Earthquake, which left 49 people dead and one still missing, 6,431 people remain in evacuation from their homes.

    According to the Kumamoto Prefectural Government, on April 17, the day after the main shock, the number of evacuees was at a peak of 183,882. The number has since fallen to about one-thirtieth of this.

    Meanwhile, June 12 saw the biggest aftershock in Kumamoto Prefecture since April 19, registering a lower 5 on the Japanese seismic scale in the city of Yatsushiro and stirring up locals' lingering anxiety.

    One month after the tremor, the number of people thought to have died indirectly from the quake was 19, but afterwards the death of an 87-year-old man was added to the tally. The prefectural government plans to soon hold an explanation for all of its municipalities on how to correctly evaluate indirectly-caused earthquake deaths.

    On June 1, for the first time in a month prefectural police and others resumed an on-site search for the only unaccounted for person in the disaster, 22-year-old Kumamoto Gakuen University student Hikaru Yamato, near the site of the collapsed Aso Ohashi bridge, but no clues turned up.

    In the towns of Mashiki -- which was hit twice by temblors of 7 on the Japanese seismic scale -- and Kashima, evacuees were to begin moving into temporary housing on June 14. However, the current estimate for the completion of temporary housing construction for all evacuees across the prefecture is late July.

    Meanwhile, in the village of Minamiaso and two other municipalities around 800 residences are still without water.

    As of June 12, a total of some 85,200 volunteers had helped out in the prefecture since the disasters. There continue to be around 1,000 people a day who are assisting with things like cleaning up quake-damaged houses.

    The total cost of damage to public infrastructure managed by the Kumamoto Prefectural Government and municipal governments in the prefecture has reached over 190.24 billion yen.

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