Saturday, April 9, 2011

March 23 (Wed): Minami Souma

We delivered food and supplies to Minami Souma City, which is located within 30km of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, in the indoor evacuation zone. According to the Municipal Government of Minami Souma City, they must go out of the city if they want supplies, but with the shortage of gasoline, they decided to establish a center to receive relief supplies at the Souma General Wholesale Market, located on the northern side of the city, outside the 30km range from the nuclear power plant.  Learning that they will start operating the center from the 22nd, our executive director, Charles, and a staff member, Kawada, delivered supplies to the Souma General Wholesale Market on a 2-ton truck.

The Municipal Government of Minami Souma City

Souma General Wholesale Market

Based on the following information from the local people that: there is electricity, gas and water and they can cook; there are enough blankets and water; and they need food and supplies on a 50-50 ratio, we loaded curry (113 boxes, 3390 servings), jelly drinks (187 boxes, 748 drinks), and other items donated by individuals such as cup noodles, snacks, canned food, masks, diapers, sanitary goods, towels and pocket body warmers, and arrived at the Souma General Wholesale Market after 8:30 on the 23rd.

Relief supplies seemed to be gradually coming in: supplies other than those from Second Harvest Japan were scheduled to arrive.  Supplies collected here will be transferred to Minami Souma City sequentially and distributed to the citizens.

Later, we entered the city to find that all stores and banks were closed, and aside from the Municipal Government, nothing seemed to be open.  According to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department of the Municipal Government of Minami Souma City, they are holding briefing sessions and recommending citizens to evacuate.  There are approximately 10,000 people remaining within the city.  Since they are all staying at their respective homes, there is no problem regarding supplies in general so far, but there aren’t enough diapers for the elderly.  They also said they would like to have something that would offer solace, like comfort food and sweets.

We then checked on the damage in the coastal regions and saw that most people were wearing masks.  However, they didn’t seem to mind much about getting wet in the snow.  There were cars, but we hardly saw anyone walking or riding bicycles.

The following day, on the 24th, we called the Municipal Government and learned that:
they were confirming how many people were remaining in the city
many citizens were coming to the two distribution centers within the city to receive relief supplies
since volunteers and members of the Self Defense Forces were making personal calls and delivering relief supplies, there may not be so many people who haven’t received anything at all

A considerable amount of supplies has been delivered till now, but since it is uncertain as to how long this situation is going to persist, they explained that they will continue accepting supplies for the time being.

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