Devastation in Japan
Disaster surges through Japan as an 8.9 earthquake and subsequent massive tsunami hit the country on March 11th.
After going up to Sendai, Japan, to do initial assessment, Amurt/el is now mobilizing in Nagano collecting equipment and supplies and arranging vehicles etc. As all public transport to Sendai has been put on hold until the current radiation threat is resolved, our team and all the supplies will have to be driven in with private vehicles. Fuel, food and electricity are all in short supply and being rationed.
The government of Japan has given Amurt/el permission to enter Sendai and begin relief operations. Our current plan is to focus on helping the elderly who have been displaced, as well as provide grief counseling to those who have experienced such tremendous loss.
Stay tuned for more details on our relief work, and please donate to this cause- specify ‘Japan Relief’.
Tsunami Clean Up
Japan Relief Update: The AMURT/EL team has started to clean out the homes of elderly residents in the town for Tamajo. Their houses are full of destroyed furniture and thick mud, and many residents are too traumatized and overwhelmed to face this challenge alone. Below are pictures of our team in action.
The Amurt/el team in Japan is now in the disaster struck region of Sendai. They have started visiting the largest refugee camps in the region, some with 700-800 people, visiting the elderly and children. The team is working on starting an elderly support program in this area which was largely destroyed by the tsunami.
AMURT & AMURTEL continue to work with local city officials in Shichigahama and Utsunomia to assist the elderly get back to normalcy by helping clearing debris from their homes. Guiseppe Iuvara, The AMURT/EL disaster coordinator in Japan, reports “The Japanese are an amazing people, culturally trained to the virtue of patience and collective harmony, and their composure and wisdom gave us a taste of their mature humanity. This is a community prepared to the tsunamis. Imagine that one pensioner told me he had experienced three of them in his life but even he couldn’t imagine one of such power, capable of sweeping away 25% of his town in minutes”.
Along with cleaning debris and helping families move back into their homes, the team makes daily visits to the refugee centers in the area to provide counseling to help people cope with mental trauma. They also organize physical activity such as stretching and yoga classes. Lastly, the team leads children’s activities, such as playing games, singing songs and organizing soccer games. The city officials have been very impressed and have provided an office for the team within one of the refugee centers.