11 March, 2014

Three years later today

I've been collecting news stories as I've come across them in the last couple of days, particularly in my FB feed. Please take the time to look at some of these links today and pray for this nation that's still in pain.

Here are some poignant photos of what things look like now in the region, where the devastation is still evident in many places.

This is a very rough map of the general area
that was affected, though it did go higher and
lower than this, the tsunami was worst in this
This article shows us of the mental health stress and loneliness in the region. We see an example of someone refusing to get help, preferring to deal with their pain alone, and blaming herself for not doing one small thing that could have saved her loved one.

Shockingly, the article also says this:
Some daycare centers don’t celebrate Mother’s Day or Father’s Day any more because so many children lost at least one parent.
This article has some statistics:
As a result of the tsunami and Fukushima crisis, among almost 270,000 evacuees as of last month, 100,000 are in temporary housing. It remains unclear how many more years it will take to build all the needed post-disaster housing. 
Japan has so far built only 3.5% of the new housing promised to refugees in heavily affected Iwate and Miyagi prefectures.

This story is of a 57 year old widower who has taken up diving so he can look for his wife's remains in the ocean. The story is well written and takes you to the heart of those who lost loved ones.

This is a very sad article about young children in the Fukushima prefecture that have been cloistered inside for most of the last three years.
And the impact is now starting to show, with children experiencing falling strength, lack of coordination, some can not even ride a bicycle, and emotional issues like shorter tempers, officials and educators say.
“There are children who are very fearful. They ask before they eat anything, ‘does this have radiation in it?’ and we have to tell them it’s okay to eat,” said Mitsuhiro Hiraguri, director of the Emporium Kindergarten in Koriyama, some 55 km west of the Fukushima nuclear plant.
For those concerned about the radiation risks. It is still hard to know what is the truth, what is being withheld by the company and the government, and what is media hype. So I'm not going to put any links here related specifically to that issue.
A little girl who was only 4 months old at the time of the earthquake, she was rescued after 68 hrs of being trapped in their house. She's now a healthy three year old looking forward to going to kindergarten in her uniform. Here's the story: http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001084528

This story highlights the mental health of middle school students in a school that's evacuated from close to the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Imagine being a chaplain in this school? The school nurse finds herself listening repeatedly to the pain of these children.

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