A magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Kyushu's Kumamoto prefecture on April 14, forcing many local residents to flee their homes. As the quake caused buildings to collapse and destroyed homes across a wide area, thousands of people were left without a roof above their heads. Building on past experiences, Airbnb is now seizing the initiative by offering free stays for those affected.
When hurricane Sandy hit New York a few years ago, 1,400 Airbnb hosts acted immediately and opened their doors to evacuees. Learning from this, the company launched an official disaster response policy in 2013. From floods in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia to ice storms in Toronto and Atlanta, Airbnb has extended its support all around the world, and is now asking all hosts in the Kyushu area to open their doors. Currently there are about 20 rooms available – if you have a room to spare, sign up on Airbnb and register your home under the disaster response page for free. This makes it much easier for hosts to offer up their space and connect with those in need. All service fees are waived for those affected by the disaster and checking in by April 20, 2016 at this stage.