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【JPN Relief-16】Homeowner Story
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On June 5th, the volunteer team worked to clear the floor of Mr. Masaji Sato's home (Masaji is 51 years old).
Masaji was in a meeting on the 2nd floor of the office building when the quake started. Masaji used to work at a printing company before the tsunami of 11 March totally destroyed his office building. He tried not to fall down by gripping on to shelves and a photocopy machine. After the shaking stopped, he carefully made his way downstairs and found things scattered everywhere- lots of ink cans and paper had dropped off the shelves. At first, he did not expect there to be a huge tsunami. Earthquakes often hit Rikuzentakada and lead to small tsunamis, possibly 50cm to 1m high, so he set to work cleaning up the office and wasn't too worried when he heard the local government tsunami alert. The alert just kept going though and so my colleague and he decided to escape to the hills. He locked up the office and looked towards the beach. There was 6-storey hotel by the sea shore, and behind it he could see something white. It looked like fog. He didn't know if this was the tsunami but he decided to get as far away as he could.
Masaji and my family went and visited their house on the next day. The whole house had been attacked by the tsunami waves and was badly damaged. He had no energy to start removing debris and cleaning just then. Masaji tells, "I think I am lucky because at least I still have a house, even if it is damaged. I am worried that I may need to move somewhere else though as I cannot find a job in Rikuzentakada now, but I want to stay to help and witness the town's rehabilitation and rebuilding."
The Volunteers removed the damaged floor boards to make access to the ground underneath after pulling out each nails from the floor at Masaji's home. The target task was to remove the mud covering the entire area with 10cm thickness. Finding Masaji's items of memorabilia brought smiles amongst the volunteers. The group worked together to completely clear the floor, taking out 30 sand bags of mud.
Habitat will continue to work with volunteers with a long-term plan for disaster response.
◆ Back Number
2011.06.06 Reports from the Volunteers （June 4-5）
2011.05.20 Volunteer Recruitment Started!
2011.05.14 Disaster Response Team Started
2011.05.03 First Volunteer Team Finished Its Work
2011.05.02 "I Never Imagined that I Would Smile Again"
2011.05.01 What Habitat Volunteers Bring to the Victims
2011.04.30 Children Return to a Cleaned Gym
2011.04.29 Volunteers Taking Action in Tohoku
2011.04.28 First Volunteer Team Heads Out to Tohoku
2011.04.19 Toiletries Delivered to Ofunato city, Iwate
2011.04.13 Toiletries Delivered to Soma city, Fukushima
2011.04.10 Thousands Support HFH's Response in Earthquake-Hit Japan
2011.04.04 Campus Chapters Fundraise for Rebuilding Japan
2010.03.31 Donation from APP Japan
2011.03.14 Donate to Help Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Victims