Tokyo: Around 110 people were sheltered in the prison in the city of Kumamoto alongside nearly 500 inmates on Tuesday, according to Japanese Justice Ministry official Koichi Shima.
“This is the first time that the policy has been put into practice,” he said.
Two powerful earthquakes, measuring 6.2 and 7.0 magnitude on the Richter scale, struck southwestern Japan last week. The death toll from the quakes has reached 44. Eight people are still missing.
The exact number of the people left displaced by the quakes is not known, but at least 100,000 are living in temporary shelters or even in their cars.
More than 250,000 others have also left their homes or been provided shelters in local schools and town hall buildings due to fears of more quakes. There have been hundreds of aftershocks since Thursday.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned about more aftershocks. More than 500 quakes have rocked the hard-hit city of Kumamoto and other parts of central Kyushu Island since Thursday.