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article imageHotels across Japan have rooms for tsunami evacuees, govt pays

By Mark Weitzman     Mar 29, 2011 in World
Victims of the recent Japan tsunami can stay in hotels and inns at the government's expense. Residents of a damaged area who are without household water can take baths in local hotels, and a Tokyo hotel postpones demolition in order to house refugees.
On March 11, 2011, a magnitude-9 earthquake occurred in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan. A tsunami followed and hit a wide area of the eastern coastline of Japan. The tsunami crashed over sea walls and spread inland, destroying buildings and causing the deaths of over 10,000 people.
About 200,000 people were displaced due to the quake damage and tsunami.
Now these refugees are living in designated emergency shelters, public buildings, schools, temples, gymnasiums, arenas, some private residences, and other locations. Some evacuees have been moved into disused public housing.
Evacuees from Fukushima prefecture in gym in Hitachi City  Ibaraki prefecture.
Evacuees from Fukushima prefecture in gym in Hitachi City, Ibaraki prefecture.
Yoshihiro Ide
“Aid workers say government-run evacuation centers are clean and well-stocked—some even have stockpiles of pet food for rescued dogs and cats—but they lack privacy, and are often difficult to heat,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
Construction of temporary housing units has begun in several areas.
Finding land on which to build the housing has been difficult for the government.
Tsunami evacuees in shelter in Rikuzentakada City  Iwate prefecture March 27  2011.
Tsunami evacuees in shelter in Rikuzentakada City, Iwate prefecture March 27, 2011.
Government pays for rooms
The Japan government is securing and paying for commercial accommodation for victims of the March 11 disaster. Refugees who stay at government-designated hotels and inns will not be charged for the accommodations or meals.
The Japan Tourism Agency is authorized by the Disaster Relief law to provide shelter for disaster victims. The JTA is requisitioning rooms at hotels and inns. Three meals a day are included.
Evacuees can stay at the designated hotels and inns until construction of temporary housing facilities is completed.
Hotel delays demolition for evacuees
Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka  Tokyo  Japan
Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan
A hotel in Tokyo that was set to be torn down has delayed the demolition and will remain open through June 2011 to house evacuees from Fukushima prefecture.
The Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka was scheduled to close its doors March 31, 2011.
The 40-floor hotel will offer 700 rooms to evacuees. The hotel can accommodate up to 1,600 people.
Prince Hotels Inc., operator of the hotel, said the hotel chain offered use of the hotel to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for the purpose of housing those affected by the March 11 quake and tsunami. The hotel chain has not yet announced a room allocation system or pricing.
The Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka opened in 1956.
Hotels offer baths
Tokyo Disney Resort (Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea) has been closed since the March 11 earthquake due to damage to the site’s parking lot cause by ground liquefaction. The main area of both venues were not affected and attractions were not damaged.
Tokyo Disney Resort is located in Urayasu city, in Chiba prefecture , which is next to the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Damage in Urayasu  Chiba prefecture  Japan  caused by liquefaction during March 11  2011 earthquake.
Damage in Urayasu, Chiba prefecture, Japan, caused by liquefaction during March 11, 2011 earthquake.
The two Disney theme parks are situated on reclaimed land comprised of mud and sand.
Liquefaction is a process when waterlogged sediments are loosened by the shaking of an earthquake. The mixture can be forced upward and break through the surface area.
The Urayasu City website has photos of liquefaction damage in the city.
Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983, and Disney Sea opened in 2001.
The Urayasu City sewage and water pipes deep underground were damaged by the liquefaction and 72,000 households were without water. That figure is about 4000 households now.
Repair work is underway and pipe inspections are ongoing.
Hotels around the Disney complex are experiencing high vacancy rates. Urayasu City asked the almost-empty hotels for assistance.
Urayasu City residents who do not have running water at their residence can now take a bath at Tokyo Bay Maihama hotel, the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel, the Urayasu Brighton hotel, the Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay, and the Oriental Hotel Tokyo Bay.
The charge at each hotel is 500 yen (about USD 6.00) for adults, and 250 yen for children.
Rooms can also be booked for short periods. The Tokyo Bay Maihama hotel is charging 3900 yen (about USD 47.00) for a three hour stay.
Spas at the hotels are also available to the city residents at reduced fees.
Damage in Urayasu  Chiba prefecture  Japan  caused by liquefaction during March 11  2011 earthquake.
Damage in Urayasu, Chiba prefecture, Japan, caused by liquefaction during March 11, 2011 earthquake.
A blogger in Japan has posted photos of the Chiba liquefaction damage.
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