Japan Disaster Response 03/11

Namaskar, AMURT ist jetzt dabei, eine große Hilfsaktion im Nordosten Japans zu starten. Hier die Protokolle der letzten Tage: 18.03.: The government in the Sendai welcome the offer from AMURT to begin relief work and appreciate the experience that they bring from other disasters in Haiti and Indonesia etc. However they are unable to provide any accommodation, food or fuel for our relief workers. Our AMURT teams in Japan are dedicated and committed to providing whatever services they can to the refugees lacking basic human needs. 17.03.: Our AMURT Team in Japan are still waiting for permission from the local government in Sendai to begin relief work. They are unable to make contact with officials in Sendai and are using the time to collect relief materials etc. and prepare for the work ahead. We hope to be there within 24-48 hours. We will post photos of relief work as soon as we receive them. 16.03.: Right now our team is in Nagano collecting equipment and supplies and arranging vehicles etc. There are no hotels open in or near Sendai. They had to sleep in a car while they were there. They are hoping that they will be provided with a school classroom for accommodation etc. There is also no public transport from Tokyo to Sendai, whilst the radiation threat continues. Fuel, food and electricity are all in short supply and being rationed. Once they receive permission from the local Government, they will immediately return to Sendai to begin relief operations. With our limited resources and manpower, we will be focusing on helping the elderly return to their homes and grief counseling etc., as stated in our latest update. Thanks for your suggestions. 15.03.: The government in Sendai and the surrounding areas is not letting small to medium sized NGOs do anything as yet. They have said they will contact us in two days to give us a permit so we can respond.

Our AMURT Team visited the shelters that are housing internally displaced refugees in Sendai. They saw they people were standing in line in a very orderly fashion to receive their basic essentials of food, blankets, toiletries and clothing. Our Team leader said that people did not look too traumatized, being concerned at this point with their basic needs. He expected that the trauma would manifest in a few days. 
Our immediate plan: 

1. We will help elderly people clean out their homes.
 2. We will help elderly people living in shelters move back to their homes.
 3. We will do psycho-social work (counseling) with people living in the shelters. 14.03.: Our AMURT Team have met with Government officials in Sendai, who provided them with a map of all the refugee centers. They are now en route to the largest one. They also received a coupon which gives them priority to obtain gasoline for their vehicle. Otherwise there is a queue of about 500 cars at gasoline stations. 13.03.: Our AMURT Team are now in Sendai, where the situation is relatively calm. They attempted to visit Minamisanriku this evening where 10,000 people are unaccounted for, but the roads are still flooded. Tomorrow they will continue to research the situation and meet with Government officials. 12.03.: Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team - AMURT 
An 8.9 magnitude Earthquake and a 10 meter high wave Tsunami that hit North eastern Japan at 2.46pm yesterday. At this moment the scale of devastation is still not completely clear, but hundreds of people have been confirmed dead and hundreds of thousands affected. There are still tsunami warnings for Japan. Our AMURT team in Nagano is mobilizing relief efforts to evaluate the situation and respond to the disaster ASAP. Reaching the effected areas will be a challenge since many of the roads are blocked. We will post regular updates on the situation as we receive them. Our AMURT Team are following a convoy of Japan Self-Defense Force vehicles heading to Sendai, the worst affected area. They will be arriving early tomorrow morning. From there they will be able to evaluate the situation. We hope to have a report with photos tomorrow evening.