Sunday, March 27, 2011

Doctor's note from the evacuation center: majority of victims died of drowning

I have participated in medical volunteer organized by Miyagi Prefectural Medical Association. My task was to create postmortem certificates and I could not manage doing my job without shedding tears. The condition of the disaster-affected area is way beyond what is being shown on TV or written in the newspapers. Predominant cause of deaths is drowning and suffocation. More damage was done by tsunami than by earthquake itself.  Since tsunami was involved, it was a matter of death or life, no room for in-between. Not many scene of being saved from underneath the rubble. I was moved to see the member of Self-Defence Forces and firefighters quietly do their jobs in a brisk pace. I set up a donation box at my clinic and many patients gave contribution in a short period of time. I am going to get involved  with rebuilding effort of the disaster-affected area in various ways. I would hope that many med school students volunteer to participate in the relief activity during their spring break. It is going to be a true life lesson. Personally, I think it should be a compulsory subject.  Hang in there, Japan! (Gambare, Nippon!)

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