Thursday, August 4, 2011

Japan: 18 Weeks After Disaster

Our partners in Japan recently sent an update on the living conditions of tsunami survivors. Here is a summary of the report, which was written 18 weeks after the catastrophic disaster:

Aftershocks continue to hit the region on a regular basis. Areas along the coast are still experiencing quakes larger than 6.0 several times a week. This has caused widespread fear and stress throughout the region.

Our partners are continuing to focus on helping evacuees north of Sundai. Many tsunami survivors have moved into temporary housing locations. However, their situations continue to be very difficult. Work is limited and will be for a long time in these areas. Some families have received insurance money, which they can use to help cover basic living expenses. But many families only had fire insurance, which does not cover the damage from the tsunami. They are now trying to survive day by day with no income at all. The situation is especially difficult for young mothers who lost their husbands in the tsunami, their children, and the elderly.

Radiation continues to be a problem as it shifts into valleys throughout the area. Our partners had befriended one young man, his wife and their baby. They had tried to restart a life in the hills. They built a shed for shelter at night, had a tent for a kitchen, and a stream nearby for water. But they just received word that the radiation has become too dangerous, and they were advised to move.

At a school nearby, they have had to remove the top layer of dirt and replace it with new sand because of radiation. The number of children at that school has almost doubled with evacuees since the disaster.

In the area that we help, disaster relief efforts have slowed drastically, so our continued our work is all the more important now. Thank you for your prayers and support!

View photos of Japan as the country continues to recover from the earthquake and tsunami.

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