Peace Winds March Report for Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief
The 9.0-magnitude earthquake, with the epicenter just offshore of Miyagi Prefecture, hit the Eastern part of Japan at 2:46 PM on March 11, 2011. Within an hour tsunamis up to 35 feet high devastated much of the northeast coast.
Peace Winds took immediate action, sending staff members to some of the hardest hit areas for an initial assessment on March 12th. Despite transportation challenges in Miyagi Prefecture, Peace Winds initiated emergency operations in Kesennuma, Miyagi on March 14th. Peace Winds expanded relief efforts to Ofunato and Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture on March 18th, and to Minamisanriku, Miyagi, on March 20th.
Peace Winds relief efforts continue to change based on the needs of disaster survivors. Initially, Peace Winds delivered food, water, medicine, blankets, mattresses, heaters, and many other supplies to meet immediate needs. By March 16th, Peace Winds set up a satellite phone system to allow survivors to contact family members inside and outside disaster areas. In late March, Peace Winds responded to sanitation concerns by hiring local carpenters to build a temporary Japanese bathhouse. In addition, Peace Winds distributed sanitary items and new clothes.
As emergency needs lessen, Peace Winds is initiating projects to provide mid to long-term support. One project offers household kits to those moving out of shelters and into temporary housing. Another provides psycho-social care to distressed survivors. Peace Winds, in collaboration with city and prefecture officials, continues to explore potential programs to restore livelihoods and rebuild communities.
Support for the people of Japan has come from across the globe. Peace Winds would like to express sincere gratitude to all the donors that have donated to disaster relief in Japan. Donations allow emergency supplies and services to reach those that need it most. Peace Winds appreciates ongoing support for its relief and recovery programs in the weeks and months ahead.