Yumi, in the first grade at junior high school, was in the school gymnasium when the earthquake and tsunami occurred. She explained what happened when the earthquake hit:
“I sat down on my knees with seven or eight friends around me and waited because there was no desk to hide under. When the quake stopped, we ran outside to the school ground with friends and teachers. There were cracks appearing on the ground.”
“When I heard the tsunami warning siren,” Yumi continued, “I didn’t think it would be a big deal. But when I saw the waves coming to the elementary school below our junior high school, I ran up to the hill. There were children and people from the neighbourhood running everywhere. All together, there were more than two hundred people there. I ran without a jacket, so it was very cold, freezing.”
“The level of the water went down a little bit after one hour. We went to the junior high school’s gymnasium. I slept with the curtain and piano cover over me to keep warm. I couldn’t sleep because I was scared and cold.”
“I didn’t know my family were safe until my father came to the evacuation centre to see me on the third day. I didn’t know what happened to them. I was so relieved to see my father and know that every member of my family was safe.”
Now they are in the evacuation centre where they can receive relief items. Yumi had been finding it hard to sleep until the warm blankets arrived. “What made me feel happy were the blankets and clothes because it was very cold. I appreciate the support from many people around the world.” World Vision has distributed relief items to more than 10,000 people in Miyagi and Sendai areas of northeast Japan. World Vision hopes to assist more than 30,000 people in the coming weeks and months to help rehabilitate people's lives and communities devastated by the quake and tsunami.