Salvation Army teams in Japan continue to provide aid to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami that brought devastation to the north of the country.
Recovery continues although the nuclear power station failure problems are not yet resolved. This has caused uneasiness among the people.
While supermarkets are gradually reopening and gasoline can be obtained, there are still many needs to be met.
In Sendai the water and electricity supply has not totally recovered due to damaged water pipes. Gasoline won’t be recovered in the near future. Supplies are gradually reaching disaster areas, however daily necessities such as tissues, diapers, and women’s clothing were requested at the camps. Needy areas in 100 km range north from Sendai will be visited.
In Yabuki-cho Salvation Army personnel met with the Mayor (Director of Disaster Management and Coordination) to get the latest information and provide supplies at their request. The following issues exist:
Gasoline and daily necessities are in short supply. Some logistics companies are afraid of being exposed to radiation so they leave their supplies outside the area. Without enough gasoline, workers at disaster areas have no means to get the supplies.
The insides of houses are severely damaged even though the outside looks okay. Many of them need to be torn down.
The water pipelines for agricultural usage, which was just completed last November, have been destroyed so that rice planting in the area has to be cancelled. (Rice production is the major industry)
Salvation Army personnel visited Iwaki-city, which is just outside the 30 km range from the Nuclear Power Station. The director of Iwaki City Emergency Response Volunteer Desk stated that the city needed hot meal distribution. The Salvation Army distributed 500 hot meals and 6,000 bottles of water.
Kesen-numa is on the coastline about 120 km north of Sendai. Badly damaged, there is much support needed there. Salvation Army teams will distribute 1,000 meals and 5,000 bottles of water. Sweets and “cotton candy” will be given to more than 100 children.
Rikuzen-Takada is 30 km northeast of Kesen-numa on the coast. Also badly damaged by the tsunami, Salvation Army teams are distributing hundreds of hot meals and water.
Salvation Army relief efforts will continue as needed.