According to the latest information available, it has been reported that damage to rice paddies in quake-hit Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan has left many rice farmers unable to plant seedlings this spring. In view of the string of earthquakes that rocked the prefecture have left a trail of devastation in their wake, including cracks that have been confirmed in at least 1,574 places in paddies within Kumamoto. Further, it has been observed that most damage has been found in the town of Mashiki and the village of Minamiaso, the Kumamoto Prefectural Government revealed. According to the official of the local Government, it has been narrated that initially unnoticed damage could also emerge later.
As per report, in Mashiki, the magnitude-6.5 earthquake that struck April 14 and the magnitude-7.3 temblor on April 16 registered a 7, the strongest level on the Japanese seismic intensity scale. Moreover, the quakes also triggered massive landslides in Minamiaso. It has also been indicated that the rice farmers in Minamiaso usually fill their paddies with water from irrigation channels in late April at the earliest, with rice planting beginning by late May at the latest. Meanwhile, Mr Mitsuhiro Takehara, a 55-year-old farmer in the Kurokawa district of Minamiaso, had planned to grow rice varieties such as Milky Queen on his 2-hectare paddies this year.
However, a landslide triggered by the April 16 quake, while, the experts informed that was the main shock in the series of temblors, caused cracks in the paddies. According , to Takehara, all 20 rice farmers in the Kurokawa district have seen their paddies damaged and are unable to start planting work. However, rice paddies belonging to 49-year-old Koshi Nagasaki in the village’s Hisaishi district escaped from damage. Furthermore, on April 18, two days after the main quake, Nagasaki received rice seedlings from affected farmers through a local agricultural cooperative, planting the Koshihikari and Akigeshiki rice varieties in his paddies. It was emphasized by the farmer that he will grow the rice plants with utmost care, taking the feelings of people affected by the earthquakes into consideration and I must never let them wither as stated with confidence by Mr Nagasaki.