Japan Disaster Response: Update No 1

Our AMURT and AMURTEL teams have finally arrived at Sendai and found accommodation at a youth hostel that besides being economical also affords us the possibility to cook our own food and do collective meditation.

The situation in downtown Sendai appears quite normal, but there are still long queues at gas stations and supermarkets, signs that normal distribution channels are only partially reactivated.

Only few hotels are open and they are fully booked by rescue teams, media from around the world and local people who lost their homes to the Tsunami.

Today we visited one of the many Volunteers centers that are directly run by the local government.

We got a map and list of the 50 refugee centers in Sendai and we could manage to visit one of the largest camps with about 700 to 800 refugees. We had the chance to spend some time with the children and the elderly. Everything seems orderly and all the refugees’ basic necessities are provided.

Tomorrow we will try to register in Tagajo city hall and start our elderly support program in that area, which was in part destroyed by the tsunami.

A new volunteer has joined us from today, Sabine who flew in from Scotland. She isn’t new to Japan as she spent three years here and she really wanted to return the kindness and hospitality she received in the past by the Japanese people.

On another front, we have contacted the local government in charge for the nuclear plant area in Fukushima and they seem very interested in our offer to assist the elderly and sick that have remained desperately isolated in the 20 to 30 km exclusion zone, who aren’t yet eligible for evacuation but are unable to receive help because no one wants to enter that area.

We could offer them homeopathic remedies to minimize the negative effects of radiation exposure and also the tremendous anxiety that this health hazard has created in their minds.

Warm Regards,

Dada Karunamaya