East Japan Earthquake    March 11, 2011

Good news!

Kana's parents and grandparents have been found safe!
> Read Kana's story.


30 years old, Staff at Kick Back Café, native of Rikuzen-Takata city, Iwate prefecture

30 years old, Staff at Kick Back Café, native of Rikuzen-Takata city in Iwate prefecture
I have not been able to get hold of many people in my hometown including my parents, grandparents, and friends. I am especially concerned about my grandparents who live only minutes from the ocean. Since there is no doubt that my grandparents’ house has been swept away by the tsunami, I hope they had been away from their home when the earthquake hit.

My parents’ house is about a 30-minute walk from the ocean but is up on the mountainside, so I am hoping it didn’t get badly damaged. However, since it was during the day when the earthquake hit, my parents were probably at their workplaces. My father works at a factory on the mountainside so the factory building is probably safe, but I am not yet sure about his whereabouts. My mother works at the 4-story City Hall building, which is reported to have been flooded up to the 3rd floor. According to the TV news, about 100 people were left on the roof of the City Hall building but all of them were rescued. I am hoping that my mother was among those people, but I haven’t been able to get any information from the area yet. I just need to wait for their call, but I’m not sure if my parents know my phone number by memory. They are probably wondering how they can get through to me.

My brother and I could not sleep the first night, sitting in front of our computers and trying to get as much information as possible. There were many aftershocks and even those of us in Tokyo were afraid of what’s next. The second night was still hard. We could not yet get much information from the affected areas as it was also difficult to make phone calls even in Tokyo. Today, after 3 days have passed since the first quake, I was finally able to talk with my friends in Tokyo. We have been sharing our concerns. As I look at social-network-sites, I only see many people writing their concerns for the people in northern Japan, but there is no information from the affected areas. As I am writing this, a list of survivors has been released by an emergency evacuation site just now, and my friend and I were rejoicing to have found the name of her family member. Though I have not been able to find out the situation of my parents, I believe they are safe.

Kana's Hometown
A building stands in the rubble in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck the area, March 13, 2011.

Rikuzen-Takata:5,000 Homes Under Water and 15,000 People Missing

On March 12th, the Self Defense Force of Japan started its rescue efforts of most all of the households of the city of Rikuzen-Takata that has been demolished by the recent earthquakes which is estimated at 5,000. From the rescue efforts in Takata area, the most damaged area, 52 bodies were recovered on the 12th, and on the 13th, 114 more bodies, totaling 166 in the 2 days. The rescue effort, however, has been slowed because of the debris blocking all traffic to the city whose population is 23,000. According to the task force of the city, roughly 8,000 people are staying in emergency evacuated areas. The city is doing what they can to locate the the rest of the population. The City Hall, a 4-story building, was engulfed by the tsunami and out of 300 workers there, the whereabouts of 100 employees hav not been determined. Also, the city resident registry has been lost causing difficulty in identifying who the victims are.
There has been some positive news as the Self Defense Force of Japan has been successful rescuing 37 people isolated from roofs of buildings. Rescue efforts will continue. (March 13, 7:48PM(JST), NHK)


Back to main page