Noisy and smelly pets prevented them from entering shelters… Photo inside the Noto Earthquake “5-meter diameter instant house for living with disaster-stricken pets | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Noisy and smelly pets prevented them from entering shelters… Photo inside the Noto Earthquake “5-meter diameter instant house for living with disaster-stricken pets

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Mr. Niide lives with his cat “Mokkun” in an instant house.

Along the coast of Noto Town, Ishikawa Prefecture, there are about 10 pure white tents, each about 5 meters in diameter. They are instant houses where people affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake in January can live with their pets.

The owner, Kotomi Oba, tells us, “Three out of the ten tents were used as shelters for pets.

Three of the ten houses are pet-friendly spaces. We put mats on the floor and board up the inside, so there is no need to worry about cats clawing at the floor. We have placed lights and fan heaters to make it a comfortable environment for pets.”

April 1 marked three months since the Noto Peninsula earthquake. Various problems remain unresolved in the affected areas. One of the problems is how to deal with affected pets. Pet owners are forced to stay in their cars or live in collapsed houses because their pets are not allowed to enter evacuation centers due to their noises and smells.

Dogs and cats are also stressed by the earthquake

Mr. Ohba continues.

As a motorcycle enthusiast, I opened a café and boarding house for riders in 2004. Fortunately, the Noto Peninsula earthquake did not cause any serious damage, except for a sake bottle that fell and broke in the store. Electricity and gas were working and spring water was available, so we provided free baths and washing machines to those affected by the disaster. Users told us about people who had no choice but to stay in their cars because they could not put their pets in the shelters.

Dogs and cats must have been afraid of the earthquake. The stress of the earthquake weakened their bodies. They have lost muscle mass due to reduced exercise, so even if they live with their owners in the car, they cannot hold on to the brakes and fall out of the seat when the brakes are applied. I requested the town hall to build an evacuation center where people could live with their pets, but this did not go well.

Through an acquaintance, Mr. Ohba became acquainted with Professor Keisuke Kitagawa of the Nagoya Institute of Technology. Professor Kitagawa provided the instant houses he developed to Wajima City and Suzu City in the affected areas. In late February, an instant house was also built at the camp space where Mr. Ohba is the owner. Mr. Ohba renovated it and turned it into a space where he can live with his pets.

I have a cat myself, and it always soothes me. They are like family. Some of the disaster victims who have to live without their pets or are forced to live apart from their pets may have suffered mental breakdowns. We hope that Instant House will help both owners and their pets get better,” says Oba.

Yoshiko Niide, who lives in Instant House with her cat “Mokkun,” tells us, “I was in the car for over two months before I came here.

We stayed in the car for more than two months before we came here. Mokkun didn’t eat or drink for three days after the earthquake, and didn’t come out of the blanket he was wrapped in. …… I told my mom (Ohba-san) about it, and she invited me to come and live here. Thanks to her, Mokkun is now healthy and my stress is gone.

The people of the Noto Peninsula are regaining their smiles through their own ingenuity and ingenuity.

Instant houses with a lovely shape like a “kamakura” made of snow
There are about 10 instant houses in Noto Town.
The walls are wooden and the floors are matted, so cats can safely claw their way out.
The white tents stand out against the blue sea and sky.
Mr. Oba, the owner, accepting pets from disaster victims
Mr. Ohba’s car, café and lodgings
You can have a meal at the café.
Bathrooms are provided free of charge to disaster victims.
Survivors can also use the washing machine freely.
  • Interview and PHOTO Kenji Natsume

Photo Gallery10 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles