April 13, 2011

In order to break up the monotony for the children in Otsuchi evacuation centers, an Association of Medical Doctors of Japan (AMDA) volunteer organized a “Field Trip to the Self-Defense Forces Garrison,” where they met members of the SDF who came from Hokkaido to help in the relief efforts, providing meals for the evacuees in Otsuchi. The children had a fun time touring the grounds, and it brought smiles to their faces for the first time in a long time. At the initiative of AMDA volunteers, a playroom was also set up for children at the Otsuchi evacuation center.

The Association for Aid and Relief (AAR) Japan responded to requests from Minamisoma (Fukushima Prefecture) and delivered 8 washing machines, 8 dryers, and related equipment. In addition, it delivered soft drinks, water, soy sauce, etc., to a welfare facility for people with disabilities.

AAR reports that one month after the disaster, while the provision of relief items is improving, they are still inadequate in terms of reaching people outside of the official evacuation centers. About half of the evacuees are “at-home evacuees”—people living in their own severely damaged homes or staying with friends and relatives. The distribution of goods to these people has been difficult. On April 11, AAR responded to reports of such at-home evacuees in Shichigahama (Miyagi Prefecture) and delivered rice, miso, tangerines, milk, toothbrushes, soap, clothing, vegetables, gas burners, power washers, and other items to 30 homes. The town of Shichigahama is known as a summertime destination for surfers and sunbathers. Unfortunately, the tsunami not only damaged fishing facilities and homes, but it also swept away the town’s post office, convenience stores, and restaurants. It is as if the town has disappeared.