Sunday, March 27, 2011

What a volunteer nurse witnessed during a week after the quake

Ms. Toshiko Mitake, a nurse working for a hospital in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, volunteered to go to Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture, severely hit area as well as Ms. Mitake's hometown. She could not believe the image on TV--her hometown completely destroyed and devastated. She tried to contact her parents in Otsuchi but could not reach them.

"They must have been dead..." she thought and cried that day.

3 days after the quake, she found herself on the way to Tohoku region, to provide medical relief as a volunteer member of the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA). She first got to Sendai for relief activity. Afterwards, she moved to Otsuchi and Kamaishi, where the medical rescue was hard to deliver. On the 15th, she got her parents'. Two-floor house was damaged by tsunami on the 1st floor, but she found that her parents evacuated to a nearby house and were safe, to her great relief.

Ms. Mitake witnessed dismal state of evacuees in her hometown. People got bladder inflammation because they tried to frequent less to the bathroom (to avoid waiting in cold and long line). Others were suffering from allergy not being able to change their clothes. Many people are so traumatized by the quake and they got so scared every time afterquake came.

"It was so cold at the evacuation center," she recalled the first seven days since the quake. She could not stay longer and now she is back to work in Kawasaki. But she is willing to volunteer again in the future.

(summary of the article by Jiji Press on March 24, 2011)

1 comment:

  1. Pray that everyone can quickly go back to live in safe, peaceful times again.