Residents of Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture watch in shock

as their homes and livelihoods are washed away.



Akita Sakigake Shimpo, Japan

After the Great Earthquake, Let Us All Do Our Utmost to Help!


"We would like to extend our very sincere prayers to those who were killed. The authorities and relief organizations are anxious to rescue those stranded in the affected areas and search for those who remain unaccounted for. Countries like the United States, South Korea and New Zealand have extended a helping hand of aid and support to Japan."




Translated by Anthony Figueroa


March 13, 2011


Japan - Akita Sakigake Shimpo - Original Article (Japanese)

A woman evacuated from near the Fukushima nuclear facility is checked for radiation, March 13.


NHK NEWS VIDEO: Live coverage of the aftermath of yesterday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake, from Japanese broadcaster NHKRealVideo

On March 11, an unprecedented earthquake off the Tōhoku coast struck eastern Japan. Measuring a magnitude of 8.8 on the Richter scale [revised up to 9.0], the earthquake is the largest in our nation's recorded history. The strength of the earthquake intensified as shock after shock continued to roil the ground, its length and intensity equally unimaginable in force.


But the real horror came after the first temblor and its aftershocks, when a 10-meter [30-foot] tsunami barreled over the Pacific coast. In one fell swoop, the tsunami swallowed up entire towns and villages along the coast, causing rivers to back up and pour into residential areas, and causing the loss of human life to skyrocket.


We would like to extend our very sincere prayers to those who were killed. The authorities and relief organizations are anxious to rescue those stranded in the affected areas and search for those who remain unaccounted for. For those who are now overwhelmed with anxiety, we want to give all of our strength to ease their suffering.


The earthquake occurred at around 2:46pm. The epicenter was located off the coast of the Oshika Penninsula in Miyagi Prefecture. In the city of Kurihara in the northern part of the Miyagi Prefecture, the quake was reported to have been Shindo 7, while other cities within our local prefecture like Akita and Daisen, reported shindo 5.


[Editor's Note: Shindo is the Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale. 1 is the lowest and 7 the highest].


As the hours tick by, the seriousness of the damage is becoming understood. In Wakabayashi ward in Sendai, between 200 and 300 bodies have been found, and upwards of 80 percent of Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture remains submerged. Much like Onakawa in Migyaki Prefecture, the entire town has been devastated. According to the governments Disaster Management Office, more than 1,000 people have lost their lives as a result of the tsunami.


[Editor's Note: According to the latest information, there are 16,600 people missing or dead since what is now being called the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami].



The devastating power of the tsunami is clear to see in the affected areas, from submerged towns and villages to destroyed homes and buildings. We are once again reminded how helpless humanity is in the face such mighty natural disasters. Furthermore, due to the impact of the earthquake, there may have been a meltdown at TEPKO's [Tokyo Electric Power Company's] No. 1 nuclear power plant in Fukushima, with citizens within a 20 kilometer radius [12 miles] being told to evacuate, [and between 10 and 30 kilometers, people are being told to stay indoors.]


While here in our prefecture, there have been reports of structural damage, a building collapse and people being injured as a result of the quake, the most damaging impact on people's livelihoods is a lack of electricity and water. Power outages have continued since the earthquake and its aftershocks, and to make matters worse, some areas still have no water. The expectation is that many people will go without electricity and heating for at least 24 hours more. And since we're in the month of March, there is still a winter chill in the air. Living with the dual threat of darkness and cold, while the fear of aftershocks remains, would be difficult for anyone to face.




Asahi Shimbun, Japan: Quake-Prone Japan Must Reconsider Use of Nuclear Power

Daily Mail, U.K.: Chilling Echoes of Hiroshima in Images of Tsunami's Aftermath
Der Spiegel, Germany: Nuclear Disaster 'Will Have Political Impact of Sept. 11'

Guardian. U.K.: The World's Nuclear Fate Rests in Japan

The Japan Times, Japan: Nuclear Power Industry is in Disarray


Bookmark and Share


Mobile phone calls have also been very hard to make. While friends and relatives in areas hard hit by the disaster have been moved to shelters, it's easy to imagine the frustration of being unable to confirm their well-being. The disruption of communications on this scale after a disaster only serves to accentuate the feeling of helplessness. In this age of information, maintaining a stable line of communication is of the utmost importance.


Until March 12, aftershocks triggered by the initial quake are likely to continue - and there is even a possibility that one of these will trigger another tsunami. Right now, it is of great importance to remain calm, particularly so we remain alert to another potential tsunami. Should there be aftershocks near the coast, you will want to leave the area and seek shelter on higher ground. You will also want take extra precautions against mudslides and avalanches.


In this situation, it is essential that residents help one another. Elderly households are crying out for assistance, and need help to relieve the anxiety brought on by the quake. Countries like the United States, South Korea and even New Zealand, which recently met with a disaster of its own, have extended a helping hand of aid and support to Japan. This aid and mutual support in the areas most impacted by the disaster is the greatest hope of rebuilding.



Snow falls on the rubble, as rescue workers in tsunami-hit

Sendai look for survivors, March 16.

[VIDEO: Rescue workers go about their grim work in northern Japan, Mar. 16].


Damage here in Akita Prefecture pales in significance compared to Iwate and Miyagi. As we hurry to pick ourselves up, we would like to extend a helping hand to our companions living in the northeast to rebuild. In their hour of greatest need, we offer all possible emotional support and material help, like food, water and other supplies, and eventually, with reconstruction. There's a lot we can do. It is our duty to provide a beacon of hope to our neighbors in the disaster-stricken areas.



blog comments powered by Disqus



































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US March 17, 6:39pm]


Live Support

Bookmark and Share