AAR JAPAN Enters the Demolished City

On Sunday, March 27, AAR JAPAN’s Emergency Relief Team made an expedition to the city of Rikuzen-Takata, one of the most heavily damaged towns along the Pacific coast, visiting two welfare facilities for persons with disabilities for delivery of relief items.
Most part of Rikuzen-Takata city lies in a state of obliteration.  Few buildings except those in the heights survived.

Persons with Disabilities Stay Together

Out of 4 welfare facilities in Rikuzen-Takata, only two survived the catastrophe; the other two were swallowed by the Tsunami.  “Hikami-no-Sono” and “Asunaro Home”, two remaining facilities now serve as refuge centers.

At “Hikami-no-Sono”, a total of 50 persons with disabilities and staff members are taking shelter.  The small building, located in the heights, evaded the devastating Tsunami.  In contrast to relatively bigger refuge centers nearby where consistent provisions of relief items have recently started to arrive, small places like “Hikami-no-Sono” are still experiencing severe lack of material support.  Despite the suffocating inconvenience, many of persons with disabilities have no other option but staying in the familiar facility.  For them, sharing time and space with many others at bigger refuge centers is simply unrealistic.

Yoshiteru HORIE (left), Secretary General of AAR JAPAN presents a box of bananas to the director of "Hikami-no-Sono".  He was very happy, saying the fruit was easy to eat and nutritious.

AAR JAPAN’s Relief Team handed out bananas, grapefruits, futon mattress, toilet paper rolls and 20 liters of gasoline.  Vehicles at “Hikami-no-Sono” were completely out of gas when the Team arrived, hindering them from going out to procure necessary items.  “Now we can go to shops far away from here and buy things”, said the worker at the facility.

List of Destinations on March 27

Rikuzen-Takata City, Miyagi Prefecture
-Hikami-no-Sono (Welfare facility for persons with disabilities, 50 survivors)
-Asunaro Home (Welfare facility for persons with disabilities, 15 survivors)

Senior Programme Coordinator, mainly responsible for the AAR JAPAN's projects in Asia, including Myanmar.  Involved in a number of emergency relief operations in the past, including Myanmar Cyclone in 2008, Sumatra Earthquake in 2009 and Pakistan Flood in 2010.  Born in Tokyo, 34 years old.