Memorial Held For Kumamoto Quakes

Memorial held for Kumamoto quakes

A memorial service has been held in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, to mark three years since the start of a series of devastating earthquakes.

The quakes claimed the lives of 273 people, including those who died from causes related to the quakes.

The ceremony at the prefectural office began at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Participants first observed a moment of silence.

Kumamoto Governor Ikuo Kabashima said nearly 17,000 people are still living in temporary housing due to the quakes. He said he will stand by every one of them and work hard to secure permanent homes for all.

One of the attendees was 81-year-old Keisuke Masuda, who lost his wife, Fumiyo, who was 79 years old.

He said the main quake suddenly hit them in the early hours of April 16. He said his wife was found under the rubble of their home, and she never regained consciousness.

Masuda said Minamiaso Village is where he and his wife lived together for 60 years. He said he hopes to continue leading a self-sufficient life and also help recovery efforts.

Participants then laid flowers for the victims.