Mitsuko Sobata, Advocacy & Communications Officer, World Vision Japan
Today, we visited Arahama town which was severely hit by the tsunami. It's a coastal town and just 10-20 minutes away from Sendai City by car. The tsunami washed away everything here including houses, cars, trees, and people. Hundreds of people have died in this town.
A week since March 11th, people who survived and were staying at safe shelters came back here to find something useful, important, and precious from their "house". There are also many ambulance workers doing search and rescue.
I spoke with one family - father, mother and daughter - looking for their house. The father said "we used to live near the shoreline, but we're not sure if our house was washed away. I found my neighbour's house was flushed a few kilometres away from the shoreline so we think our house might be flushed away also. However, we would like to see how our house with our own eyes."
Above: Mitsuko in an earthquake and tsunami devastated area
The highlight for me today was when I said goodbye to this family. His daughter, who may be a 15 or 16-year-old said to me, ‘Please take care of yourself’.
During my one week stay in Miygai prefecture, I met many affected people who are caring and helping each other in such an unprecedented crisis. I met one Tome City worker who gave his banana and coffee to the driver who brought relief items from Tokyo, despite not having enough food for himself.