Supporting the people of Minami-Souma City
Our colleagues at Friends of the Earth Japan are writing a blog on life after the earthquake and tsunami. They will be documenting how they, and fellow citizens, are rebuilding their lives and addressing some of the issues that have arisen as the country recovers from its biggest crisis since World War II.
The anxiety of people in Tokyo after the accidents at Fukushima nuclear
power plant have been growing day by day. But the anxiety of the people in Fukushima is beyond my imagination.
Japan Chernobyl Fund (JCF), which is one of the groups we are supporting through donations made to FoE International, is focusing on people staying in Minami-Souma City.
JCF's staff, doctors and nurses are providing medical assistance in shelters and the city hospital, located only 23 kms from the nuclear power plant.
More than 1000 people are said to have died as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in Minami-Souma City. However, the residents' sorrow is not only caused by the natural disaster but by a human-made disaster, the nuclear accident.
Due to fears that the area is contaminated by radiation, the distribution of gas, medicines and foods have been stopped, and all the shops are closed. The residents are said to be "fourfold suffering".
"Many people have fallen sick with stress caused by the shocks and the changing environment after the disaster, although they were not affected directly by the earthquake and tsunami." said Ms. Kamiya, JCF staff.
"In the long-term, health damage caused by exposure to radiation is a concern. But at the moment, it is most important to deal with chronic disease and infectious disease caused by sleeplessness and stress" (Source: JCF Staff's blog http://jcf.ne.jp/cp-bin/blog/)
Many residents have moved from the city after the nuclear accidents while many people still remain in their hometown (26,000 out of 71,000 residents are staying).
There must be different situation that each family is facing but the reality is the residents of the city are forced to be divided, and their land and loving nature have been contaminated. I cannot imagine the sorrow of people in Fukushima.
Because the electricity made in Fukushima nuclear power plant was sent to Tokyo and the neighboring area, not Fukushima, I feel guilty for what the people in Fukushima are facing.
We should really think about what we can do to prevent another catastrophe. I am really hoping that the situation of the nuclear power plant will be stabilised as soon as possible.