Photo/IllutrationArchitect Shigeru Ban, left, and other volunteers construct a temporary "shelter" out of paper and fabric on Sept. 15 at an evacuation center in Sapporo's Kiyota Ward. (Shigehiro Saito)

SAPPORO--Internationally acclaimed architect Shigeru Ban was among the nearly 1,000 volunteers who helped victims of the powerful earthquake in Hokkaido on Sept. 15.

Ban, 61, has visited disaster sites since 2004 to help assemble simple paper pipes and pieces of fabric to create partitions, which offer privacy for those who have fled to evacuation centers.

Ban and staff members of his Voluntary Architects' Network (VAN) instructed volunteers who had gathered at an evacuation center in Kiyota Ward here on how to assemble the temporary "homes."

About 30 evacuees were at the center as of 3 p.m. on Sept. 15.

There are about 1,300 evacuees in total in Hokkaido, with most centered in the town of Atsuma, which recorded a maximum intensity of 7 on the Japanese seismic scale during the early morning quake on Sept. 6.

More than 900 volunteers arrived in Hokkaido on Sept. 15, the start of a three-day weekend because Sept. 17 is Respect-for-the-Aged Day, a national holiday.