Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 18 (Friday): From Sendai

Our Emergency Support Team lead by Charles McJilton, Executive Director, departed from the office in Asakusa-bashi in our 4-ton truck replete with relief supplies at 11 p.m. on 17th, Thursday.

After driving on Tohoku Highway all through the night we arrived at Kesen-numa City Hall around 9 a.m. in the following morning.

In the Emergency Task Force office inside the Hall we first looked at the list of the local evacuation centers and notes saying how the relief supply deliveries were going in the area.

Accompanied us was Takuro Shiozawa, a staff member of Foodbank Yamanashi.

All telephones, both fixed-line and mobile, were disconnected in the whole area, except KDDI, which set up a portable tower near the Hall.

Only "au" mobile phone was connected.

On the notice board notes describing the safety of those affected were pinned up from corner to corner.

There are some 100 evacuation centers, some large, others small, in the city.

We looked around a large evacuation center which accommodated more than 1,000 evacuees and is located in the walking distance from the Hall.

The local shopping avenue has been heavily damaged by tsumani.

We saw some local people here and there cleaning up debris with resilience.

All the relief supplies for Kesen-numa city came to the old local fresh produce market.

As the local infrastructure is reconstructed, more and more relief supplies are coming to Kesen-numa city, featured by the news media many times as one of the worst-hit areas.

We heard that the relief supplies were delivered by Miyagi trucking association from the center to local evacuation centers, but due to the chronic shortage of gasoline, the frequency of the daily delivery of the supplies in the area had reduced from twice to once.

Among the areas far from the city center we decided to go to Karakuwa peninsula, which has been heavily damaged and is now isolated.

After driving along the quake-scarred coved coastline we arrived at Karakuwa local office, where the regional task force office is set up.

We relayed relief supplies down from the truck with local people.

The relief supplies include bread, bananas, retort pouch curries, rice, bottled water, and daily necessities donated by our individual supporters.

Local people worked resiliently and cheerfully.

While unloading, we sang a local traditional song, Soran-bushi, together, which warmed our hearts.

After we promised to come back to them, we went back to Foodbank Sendai office.

We sincerely give our gratitude to you all for your warming support.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks guys for the update, although I have seen the mess of the crisis it is good to see pictures and accounts of you guys in action. Keep it up, I'll be praying everyday for you!