East Japan Earthquake    March 11, 2011

On-site Report
Mobile Kick Back Cafe #1

April 2, 2011

At exactly midnight, Mobile Kick Back Cafe left Sengawa for the tsunami ravaged north. The sttreet going into Rkuzsen-Takata was crowded with cars with license plates from all over Japan despite the late hour indicating many were traveling to their loves ones.

They first stopped at Kisennuma City in Miyagi prefecture, about 10 miles south from Rikuzen-Takata.

Kisennuma City was one of the biggest fishing ports in northeastern Japan, but the destruction by the tsunami was significant there, and there is hardly any resemblance of how the town once was.
The reason for the visit was that a customer of Cafe Proverbs 15:17 in Kyoto, Kick Back Cafe's sister cafe, was from this city and since it was on the way to Rikuzen-Takata, he asked the team to give him a ride there.
His house was completely demolished by the tsunami, but thankfully his mother was in a evacuation shelter.
He had come to the Wednesday nigtht service at Kick Back Cafe a couple of days prior to the trip and accepted Christ into his heart.
Once just was a customer of the cafe but now as a new brother in Christ traveled together with the team.

The unexpected late night traffic slowed their drive but at 10a.m., Mobile Kick Back Cafe arrived at Rikuzen-Takata's disaster headquarters.
Here students volunteers diligently and enthusiastically unload the donated supplies brought by Mobile Kick Back Cafe.
Their great attitude left a heartwarming impression on the staff.

At 11a.m., Mobile Kick Back Cafe arrived at Hirota elementary school, located in the town of Hirota near Rikuzen-Takata to provide food for evacuees.
This location had been arran ged through a connection that Kana Hasegawa, a Rikuzen-Takata native who now works for Kick Back Cafe, has.

As Mobile Kick Back Cafe was prepared to open, the local Iwate TV station's popular announcer, Yukimi Kikuchi showed up.

He wanted to interview Mobile Kick Back Cafe for the live news at noon.
As they were preparing for the interview, a crowd of people quickly gathering around due to the arrival of Hiroaki Murakami, a famous actor and a native of the area.
He had come to visi to encourage the victims.
Mr. Murakami and Marre had appeared in a Christmas Charity radio program the previous year for a local radio station.
The show was called "Radi-thon", combining the words "raido" and "marathon".
It never occurred to anyone back then that a reunion would occur so soon and after such a horrendous catastrophe.

He was not the only celebrity to appear, as Jiro Kinsenuma, a famous professional wrestler with the "Michinoku Proresu" group showed up.
The unexpected appearance of a couple of celebrities provided a better than expected live broadcast to the audience who were most likely victims of the earthquake/tsunami.

All the while, Mobile Kick Back Cafe was preparing to serve lunch for the evacuees at the elementary school, and at 12:20, Mobile Kick Back Cafe opened.

The fire-fighters who had been daily removing debris and locating dead bodies were served first.

The food that was prepare was pork and vegetable curry, Kick Back's famous muffins and scones, and hot coffee.
The primary reason for the visit was to encourage the evacuees who had been eating basic emergency rations with some "real" food from Kick Back Cafe. As was expected, it was well received.

The town of Hirota is at the end of a small peninsula located about 5 miles southeast from Rikuzen-Takata.
This town was the last of all the victimized areas to have its condition reported. All means of access and communication to this area had been cut off by the 30 meter tsunami which temporarily covered a portion of the peninsula creating a temporary island.

The town of Hirota used to be a fishing port harvesting oysters, abalone, and brown seaweed, as well as farm-raised fish. The fishermen of the area want to rebuild the city as it once was, even though it may take many years.

Mobile Kick Back Cafe, faithful to its name, traveled to othe small communities and their evacuation centers, to serve food and encouragement.

After all its stops, Mobile Kick Back Cafe returned to Rikuzen-Takata's disaster headquarters to deliver what was remaining of the donated supplies.
It was 7 pm when Mobile Kick Back Cafe's mission ended.

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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