soma

The very human faces of a tragedy

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Now, the human element is coming to the fore.  Before, it was just numbers, and the earthquake and ensuing tsunami were the story.  But in the aftermath, the survivor stories are begining to be told. 

On TV tonight, I watched as one elderly man told of how he and his wife hurried as fast as they could from the oncoming tsunami.  Both aged, her left leg was somewhat crippled.  He tried to carry her, then pull her along… but the tsunami ripped her from his grasp.  He told us his tale from the ruins of a town, pointing to where he last saw his wife.
Another man sat in the gymnasium of a local school with all the other survivors, and told a camera crew of how he and his wife were running, and he looked around and she just wasn’t there any more.
We watched a man searching the remains of his house for signs of his son.
A woman at the base of almost a mountain of rubble and debris, screaming, sobbing the name of her child.
Evacuated people holding signs for TV cameras, hoping that their husbands, wives, sons or daughters still live.

A friend of mine is still right in the middle of all of this.  Victoria worked in Soma, Fukushima.  It was one of the worst hit by the tsunami, and is now within the 30 km warning radius of the distaster-struck Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant.  Her situation is … well… her words (with her permission):

“…not evacuating now. we have nowhere to go. half a million ppl in evac shelters in region, not enough supplies to help them. just have to stay inside and wait wait wait…. can’t go outside, Too dangerous. There are no assisted evacuations taking place from Soma. As I said before, can’t get to Tokyo! Also cant get to fukushima airport. It’s 3 hours away, not enough fuel… “

“Scared”

My prayers go out to her, and the others in her situation.  Would that we could actually do something…

Lastly, cannot forget the brave souls who have remained at Fukushima Daichi plant, putting themselves directly in harm’s way in an effort to stave off complete ruin. 

I wish there was more I could do, but beyond donations – there’s very little any of us can do. 
Below is a list for Red Cross.
International Red Cross Appeals for Earthquake/Tsunami Relief:
Australia
Canada
Ireland
New Zealand
Singapore
UK
USA

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