Uniken, J apan Universal Design Research Institute
In this disaster, however, the local authorities who would normally coordinate aid have been completely destroyed. As a result, the Red Cross, Japan Self-Defense Forces, and firefighter rescue teams are unable to cover the entire disaster area. This has lead to a dire situation: pockets of survivors taking refuge together in isolation, undiscovered by the authorities, and completely without water, food, fuel, electricity, or telephone access.
(3) After the earthquake, Ms. Yokoo of Japan Universal conducted a 48-hour survey of the disaster area beginning in Yamagata Prefecture. This is what she found (note that the following contains upsetting descriptions.)
A welfare facility already inhabited by many elderly residents took in 130 survivors, but there was no food or water.
Once the Self-Defense Forces or rescue squads have located groups of survivors, they are able to establish distribution routes and provide food and water. The problem is that there are isolated survivors in locations yet undiscovered by the Self-Defense Forces. NPOs are now working in disaster zones to uncover these groups and alert the Self-Defense Forces or police.
The greatest problem is the availability and transport of goods. We do not have sufficient materials and there is no gasoline to transport what we do have.
(5) What we can do in Tokyo and elsewhere to help the disaster victims:
We need to reach out to the disaster zones by providing goods and the means to transport them.
Donating aid materials to the disaster victims
Current donation center location:
Relief Materials Collection Service
Donations can be brought directly to the collection center (this option is preferable.) If you prefer to send packages by a delivery service, please be sure to send an e-mail detailing the content of your donation. Workers may be unable to respond to your e-mail but know that your contribution is appreciated.
<English translation by Camellia Nieh, http://members.jat.org/users/Camellia>