East Japan Earthquake    March 11, 2011

On-site report
Takata High School Temporary Housing Unit

August 20, 2011

Saturday, August 20th, a event was held at the temporary housing unit at Takata High School.
The event was titled "Planting Flowers". It was co-organized by the leadership of the temporary housing unit and the Rikuzen-Takata Health Department. They held it to help facilitate the building of relationships between the people who are living in the temporary housing unit through the planting of flowers which were donated by the Aichi Landscape Association.
We were asked by the Health Department to provide lunch for the event.

We had visited this area when the people were housed in the evacuation center and now we were getting the chance to meet them again. We also had the chance to work again with a volunteer group we had worked with before.

On this day, we were invited to Mr. and Mrs. K's home (this is located in the temporary housing unit) and were served what was touted as the best coffee in the Tohoku region. (It truly was very good coffee! This location will become th Rikuzen-Takata branch of KBC.)

Mr. and Mrs. K shared their personal survival story and also how they couldn't find their neighbors (their neighbors had died in the tsunami).

"We know there must be some reason we are alive as do all the people who survived this disaster, but we don't know what that is. Many people are struggling because they don't know what that reason is."

"There is a 5th grader who lost his mother, and he seriously wonders why his mom died. He wishes he had never been born because his mom died so early. We want to support this child and help him develop relationships which in turn help him come to the place where he can overcome this and live for his mom."

"Children in the tsunami hit area understand what you have done for them and because of this, they are more likely to help those in need in the future. "

This catastrophe has brought Mr. and Mrs. K to the conclusion that, "No matter what happens, we will be okay as long as we have each other." Having lost everything, they see the most important thing in life is each other.

We were seen off by many people including Mr. and Mrs. K, local committee member Mr. I, Mr. S. (he miraculously survived the tsunami), his daughters and the leader of the local government.

We said, "Let's fully put ourselves into this and bring them happiness." This determined attitude was evident on all our faces. As usual, many lessons were learned from this visit.

The mayor of Rikuzen-Takata has written up a proposed 8 year reconstruction plan. Upon the completion of Rikuzen-Takata, we want to rejoice with our friends there. The people there know they survived for a reason, and life is a gift. New life has begun as has our walk with them.


On-site Report ----------------------

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)



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