Struggles for Basic Supplies Continue

On Tuesday, March 29, AAR JAPAN’s Emergency Relief Teams covered a total of 4 locations in Yamada Town, Iwate Prefecture, Ishinomaki City and Sendai City, both in Miyagi Prefecture, delivering food, blankets, diapers, etc.

Swift Response to Actual Needs

At Rikuchu-Coast Juvenile Center in a town of Yamada in Iwate Prefecture, where 240 survivors are clustered together, the Team distributed some food including potato chips, grapefruit, sweet pounded rice cake, etc., along with underwear and masks.  The facility did not have running water; their only source of water is an occasional arrival of potable water trucks, preventing the survivors from taking a bath or shower.  Even washing clothes is a tough chore to execute.

Among 240 survivors are 40 inmates of Hamamatsu Gakuen, a welfare facility for persons with disabilities nearby, which was totally destroyed by the Tsunami.  The Team provided 60 additional sheets of blankets for them, who have had to spend the night on a single sheet of blanket spread on a cold concrete floor.
Survivors receive extra blankets from a AAR JAPAN volunteer (left).

When a member of the AAR JAPAN’s Relief Team was listening to survivors’ stories, lights came on suddenly in the building.  The facility had managed to install a generator, and it was this day that the survivors here got at least some lights for the night for the first time after the Quake.

List of Destinations on March 29

Yamada Town, Iwate Prefecture
-Rikuchu-Coast Juvenile Center (Refuge center, 240 survivors)

Ayukawahama District, Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture
-Ayukawa Junior High School (Relief item storage for the entire Ojika Peninsula area)
-Seiyu-kan (Refuge center, 180 survivors)

Taihaku Ward, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture
-CIL Tasuketto (Welfare facility for the aged, 60 survivors)
Staff of Juvenile Center carries in blankets.  These will improve the life of survivors who are forced to sleep on a single sheet of blanket on a concrete floor.
A girl at a gymnasium of Juvenile Center.  "My school is broken, but here I am OK because there are many friends" says the girl, who is a first grader at elementary school.
Houses are piled on top of each other (Ojika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture)
Many helped unloading relief items at Ayukawa Junior High School (Far right, Toshiyuki KOGA of AAR JAPAN)

Yoshifumi KAWABATA: Programme Coordinator, Has participated in a number of emergency relief operations in Indonesia, Haiti, etc.  Has worked as a photo-journalist in Afghanistan.  Born in Chiba Prefecture, 34 years old.