2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake: Updates and Support


On January 1, 2024, a 7.5-magnitude quake rattled the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa, causing devastation across the region. Continued search-and-rescue efforts have been severely hampered by harsh winter conditions and severed/blocked-off roads. Meanwhile, tens of thousands remain displaced, seeking water, warmth and temporary housing in an area predominantly made up of elderly citizens. Throughout January, there remains a high alert for aftershocks as highlighted by the magnitude 5.8 earthquake occurring between the Noto Peninsula and Sado Island at 17:59 Jan 9.

Please see UPDATES section below for the latest from the area…


The BCCJ is in contact with organisations providing emergency relief to affected areas and will be proactively seeking how to support small firms and communities to get back on their feet. Whereas there may be the chance to volunteer in the coming weeks/months, for now, the Japanese government is urging people not to visit the area, but instead donate as the most effective way to contribute.

That being said, if you have any supplies you might be able to donate/support you might be able to give, please contact the BCCJ at [email protected]. Taisuke Yokota of the BCCJ Executive Committee and a small delegation will be delivering contributions to affected communities in due course.




Ishikawa Prefectural Relief Fund

The Ishikawa Prefecture Disaster Relief Distribution Committee, made up of local organisations, will determine the distribution criteria for the donated funds, and will then deliver them to the disaster victims through local municipalities. Funding will largely be connected to the Japanese Red Cross Ishikawa Branch and the Ishikawa Prefecture Community Chest of Japan.




Peace Boat Disaster Relief (PBV)

PBV plans to implement relief activities based on our experience and expertise from past disaster responses. PBV will carry out the necessary support activities to help affected people rebuild their lives, including the provision of supplies, food assistance, first-aid and maintenance of damaged houses, support for shelter operation, co-ordination of relief activities, and support for the operation of disaster relief volunteer centres.



Peace Wing

In response to the Noto Peninsula quake, Peace Wing dispatched an emergency support team of Flying Search and Medical Team “ARROWS” to the area. The team consists of doctors, nurses, rescue workers, and a disaster relief dog team, and will investigate the disaster situation and support needs, as well as provide search and rescue support, medical support, and emergency supplies support.




Central Community Chest of Japan

In the disaster-stricken areas, long-term support will be required by a significant number of volunteer groups and NPOs for clearing up and repairing damaged houses, and providing mental and physical care to the victim of the catastrophe.

The Central Community Chest of Japan (CCCJ) established the Disaster Relief Volunteer & NPO Support Fund (VolSup), which is designed to support NPOs and their activities providing help to victims.


Red Cross Japan

The Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) began its response immediately after the disaster, and its chapters in the affected areas are working with Red Cross hospitals and Red Cross Blood Centres to assess the extent of the damage. 23 staff members have been dispatched to the Prefectural Disaster Prevention Headquarters to obtain the latest information and to organise emergency relief. 44 Emergency Medical Relief Teams have been dispatched to the hospitals, social welfare facilities, evacuation centres, etc. in Ishikawa prefecture…


Second Harvest Japan (2HJ)

Second Harvest Japan (2HJ) has been working with local organisations and disaster relief organisations to provide support to the disaster-affected areas, mainly at a Nanao city community centre, Ishikawa Prefecture.

2HJ together with other organisations started serving hot-meals using foods and cooking utensils 2HJ and others had brought in. The menu included Happo-sai with eleven different kinds of vegetables and other ingredients, Korean soup, Chicken sauté with spicy sauce and Vegetable mixed rice. We have provided those dishes with 320 people in total [Jan 8] including 200 who had evacuated to the community centre and also those waiting in surrounding facilities.



BCCJ Member, Peter Harris Running for Noto Peninsular Earthquake Relief

Twenty years ago when I was an assistant language teacher working in Japan I completed a 10km run as part of the ‘Yamaneko (‘Wild Cat’) Marathon’ on Iriomote Island. This year I am challenging myself to run the full course of 23km. The race will take place on 10 February 2024.

Since deciding to participate, at the beginning of 2024 a powerful earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula in Japan. As a consequence many people’s lives, homes and businesses were devastated. I have therefore decided to use my participation in the 2024 Yamaneko Marathon to raise money for charities dedicated to provide relief for those affected by the earthquake. I thank you for your support.





February 2:

  • 09:09 | Causes of death have been released over the weekend showing that many of the deaths had secondary causes such as hyperthermia while waiting to be rescued.
  • 09:37 | Re-construction workers have begun arriving in the area. They plan to repair the infrastructure and homes in the area over the coming years, living in temporary accommodation on site.
  • 09:39 | Over half of surveyed evacuees are unwilling to move to secondary evacuation sites, according to the Yomiuri newspaper. They cite work and family concerns as the main reason for refusing.

January 28:

  • 12:10 | Seismologists have today confirmed that the Noto earthquake was triggered from a different fault than the usual active fault line in the region.
  • 12:14 | Intermittent rain and snow have been forecast in the Noto region, increasing the risk of landslides, authorities warn.

January 25:

  • 11:24 | Heavy snowfall continues to compound relief efforts in the area.
  • 11:45 | There were over 4,600 foreign technical trainees in Isikawa prefecture as of June last year. Restrictions on their visas have prohibited them from work. While they are allowed to work part-time for now as a special measure, some are calling for visa restrictions to be relaxed further to ease the burden and anxiety of these foreign workers.
  • 11:50 | NHK reports that some Noto locals are returning to their damaged and dangerous homes as some secondary evacuation centres are struggling to provide meals.

January 22:

  • 20:37 | More than 15,000 people are still staying at shelters in Ishikawa Prefecture three weeks after a powerful earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula on New Year’s Day.
  • 20:40 |The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the Japan Meteorological Agency have issued an “emergency announcement” as heavy snow is expected to occur in a wide area from the 23rd onwards, mainly in the areas affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake and along the Sea of ​​Japan.

January 20:

  • 17:24 | There are reports of at least 70 people staying in their cars in the Wajima area. Health experts are concerned this could lead to further complications and advise all affected to seek shelter.
  • 17:34 | Multiple ground upheavals exceeding 2 metres have been confirmed on the northern coast of the Noto peninsula.

January 18:

  • 17:16 | NHK reports that some specific supplies are needed. A web page has been launched for members of the public to send in sought after items. Go to https://todoke.jp/ for more information (Japanese only).
  • 17:24 | At the time of writing, the most urgently needed items are:

Hearing aid batteries

Adult nappies

Canes / walking sticks


Bedsore prevention sheets

Handheld writing-to-speech machines

  • 17:32 | We would like to remind readers that the BCCJ will be collecting items from members and sending supplies as a collective once authorities allow us access. Please get in touch if you would like to participate. If you are able to go through the procedures in Japanese on the  https://todoke.jp/ site then of course, please do.

January 15:

  • 12:47 | The government have offered to extend visas for foreign nationals affected by the earthquake.
  • 12:55 | Local officials report that at least 490 people in 15 communities in Wajima, Suzu and the town of Noto remain cut off because of severed road access.
  • 13:03 | NHK has reported that snow is expected to fall in the area starting tomorrow, the 16th of January. This could further hamper relief efforts.
  • 13:23 | As of 8 a.m. on the 15th, 1,398 earthquakes with a seismic intensity of 1 or higher have been observed, and the Japan Meteorological Agency continues to urge people to be careful of shaking with a maximum seismic intensity of 5 or higher.

January 12:

  • 13:10 | A multi-lingual email helpline has been opened in Ishikawa to assist those affected by the quake. https://support.ishikawa.jp/index-en.html
  • 14:46 | Multi-lingual telephone hotlines are available for affected residents and tourists in the following areas:
  • Toyama: 076-441-6330
  • Niigata: 025-241-1881
  • Fukui: 077-628-8800

January 11:

  • 08:18 | New oil slick confirmed following the 7th, investigation into cause underway
  • 08:19 | Approximately 110 people with respiratory and other infectious diseases continue to live in evacuation areas
  • 15:44 |Special measures for employment insurance to be implemented for victims
  • 19:23 | 90 schools closed in and around Ishikawa prefecture

January 10:

  • 09:20 | Rainfall in Wajima falling at 1.4 times the expected rate for early January
  • 13:12 | Tokyo Metropolitan Government to provide housing for victims. Initial tenancy is 6 months. Contact: 03-3409-4522


January 9:

  • 09:13 | Search at Ajima Morning Market 輪島朝市 begins
  • 09:30 | 59,000 households in the prefecture are still affected by water outages, and there are no prospects for recovery. In Nanao City, where almost the entire area is without water, residents who are staying at home are trying to find water for daily use.
  • 11:00 | If a missing person if confirmed ‘found’, please call Ishikawa Prefecture Crisis Countermeasures Division at 076-225-1306
  • 14:05 | The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has released an update reflecting restoration of roads in the Noto Peninsula

  • 15:02 | According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the number of petrol garage operating in six cities and towns in northern Noto has increased by five to 46
  • 17:59 | Magnitude 6 earthquake recorded in Nagaoka City, Niigata
  • 18:20 | More than 50 Ishikawa schools have become evacuation centres
  • 22:15 | 200 metres of new coastline exposed caused by ground uplift


January 8:

  • 21:05 | To counter 65 pharmacies being damaged in Ishikawa, The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is dispatching a special mobile pharmacy to supply medicines as well as other sanitary products
  • 22:16 | Total of 3,345 villages in 24 districts have been left isolated
  • 22:36 | Nara and Kobe to provide lodging facilities free-of-charge for up to one month. Contact: Nara City Housing Division 0742-34-5174, Kobe City Housing Management Division 078-595-6539, Hyogo Prefecture Public Housing Management Division 078-230-8459