ORIGINAL ENTRY: http://nyanderguard311.blog.fc2.com/blog-date-20170402.html
ORIGINAL AUTHOR: Nyander Guard Staff
Title: Evacuation Zone Rescue and Feeding Activities: Namie Town, Miyakojima, Katsurao Village
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We did activities in the evacuation zones for two days.
This time, our biggest goal was to rescue the remaining three little ones in Namie. On the first day we did feeding and rescue activities in Tomioka Town’s evacuation zone. When the feeding rounds were essentially finished, we planned on setting up feeding stands but we ran out of time, so we have to put it off until next time.
The snow from the day before was still on the ground. I really wanted to come on the snowy day… we could see footprints then…
In order to check the rescue cages on the second day we set them up only in areas were rescue requests were made. Then we went to Namie Town. We arrived right during snacktime, when cats gather up, so luckily we saw the three cats. But the little one that wouldn’t get inside the dummy cage last time was still just loitering around the cages…
We easily rescued the daughters of the white and brown tabby mom. The dad is still left. During the day there were too many people around, so we were sure he was too on-edge to get in the cage. Sometime in the middle of the night he should be pretty hungry.
When the workers go home the gate closes up, so we persisted until the evening, but at the end we decided to reset the rescue cages and wait until morning.
We came out of Namie Town to Minamisouma’s Hara Town, and got to see the seaside for the first time in a long long while. The first year after the disaster we often passed through Odaka Ward. If you go up from Ukedo in Namie you’ll get to Odaka on the seaside.
Along Idakawa’s coast, we couldn’t find the two pine trees that were visible directly after the disaster. When we moved closer, we saw a cenotaph and a sign.
It seems like the pine trees were cut down in order to perform levee protection works. The replanted pine tree sapling is truly a tree of hope.
The Idakawa region was very badly damaged during the disaster from the tsunami but because of the incident at the nuclear power plant, searching of the people that were swept away couldn’t be implemented for long time.
The other day there was a television program I was dying to see, so I registered for NHK On Demand. I was able to watch an NHK Special on the incident at the nuclear power plant. On the day of the disaster on March 3, 2011 when the tsunami occured, the area was still engulfed by the waves well into the night. And even though there were many survivors, on the next day when the incident at the nuclear power plant happened, in order to start the evacuation process the local fire brigade had to put more effort into evacuation rather than searching for victims of the tsunami. I learned that many people who survived the tsunami were dying from hypothermia.
If only it weren’t winter, if only the incident at the nuclear power plant hadn’t happened, there would have been some lives that could be saved.
They had even built an incredibly strong seawall. Tsunamis are truly terrifying.
There are still so many residents that haven’t moved from the seaside in my hometown of Shizuoka. An earthquake could occur there any day now. There are still people there that calmly say, “Well, if a tsunami comes, there’s nothing I can do, I’ll just die.” An evacuation tower was built just for giving temporary peace of mind, but how many people can it really save? And there will be many animals that will become victims as well… It’s vexing to me because I’m here in Fukushima, where I can’t do a thing. I don’t want to feel regret if it happens tomorrow. But there are still so many things I have to do here in Fukushima.
Even though six years have passed, the scars of the tsunami are still here and there.
*The traces of a hollowed-out beach.
On this day, I stayed at an internet cafe in Hara Town. The customer service was not the best(^_^;) And the price… They need some improvements. But it has good transportation access for our activities and when we do continuous days of activities it’s too much of a pain to return to the shelter, so we stay here.
First thing in the morning we returned to Namie in order to check the rescue cages.
Whew. We could rescue the dad.
If we couldn’t save him this time, we would have stayed an extra day(^_^;) And there was the chance we would never rescue him. I’m so relieved.
I waited until 9 o’clock and went into the evacuation zone again to check the rescue cages but as I reported on this blog the other day we weren’t able to rescue anyone.
This year, the cherry trees in Yonomori should be at full bloom around the 15th. I wanted to participate in the Yonomori Cherry Blossom Festival because it was the first time in 6 years that they have held it, but I gave up hope when I heard that the chances the buds will be flowering by the 8th is low.
For the first time in 6 years, the Yonomori cherry trees will be lit up at night.
On this day we were also going to go around Katsurao Village, so we put off our work in Tomioka Town for the moment. On the way there, even though we were in the middle of work, I wanted to take a bath so badly, so I went to Kawauchi Village. *The previous day I couldn’t take a bath so I guess I was feeling cold and wanted to warm up(^_^;)
Kawauchi Hot Spring is comparatively a bit pricier than the many of the cheaper but good hot springs throughout Fukushima Prefecture. Weekdays 600 yen, weekends 700 yen, closed on Tuesday.
It opened in 2000 and was left behind for a while after the disaster but three years after the disaster it was repaired and reopened in the spring.
I go here after its reopening because it’s easily accessed on our typical routes. I have allergies that make the condition of my skin poor, but I really like the way I feel after bathing here. *I’m not saying it’s especially good for your skin though(^_^;)
Kawauchi Village was part of the area designated as a hazard zone after the incident at the nuclear power plant. There was a time where everyone in the village was evacuated.
Right after the disaster, we would often break into the hazard zone at the time and use the route alongside this village. Even though we passed through here more or less pretty often we were able to take a road that came out of Kawauchi from Tomioka from a relatively early time period. We ended up using that road when going to and returning from activities. Nowadays we almost always use Route 288 but I guess I just like the other road so I used it. *Come to think of it, many of the residents of Fukushima still don’t know that you can use Route 288 without a special permit.
As of January 1, 2017 the rate of returnees to Kawauchi Village is 68.6%.
It’s a fairly high rate of returnees among all the evacuated regions. I think it was a good thing that they could quickly return. But there’s also a story going around about a young couple that committed suicide after returning home and restarting their business. Before the disaster their livelihood was partially dependent on agricultural sales but currently, because of the effects of the disaster, they had to lower their prices because people weren’t buying. Not everybody can get compensation. People who were barely making enough money for their life before the disaster can’t endure additional pressure of the disaster. It is a very sad reality.
There are people that still don’t want to eat produce from Fukushima even if cesium levels have been tested, but we can’t force them to change their minds. I really like wholesale farmers though, so I’m going to do my best to continue to support them.
The spinach I bought here is so yummy(*’U`*)
Somehow it’s like this has become a tourist’s travel blog(^_^;)
I’ve gone around the evacuation zone region an absurd amount of times so just running around all the time will get old and burn me out.
I want to tell people more and more about the great places in Fukushima so please, please come visit as a tourist sometime（●＾o＾●）
Takizakura is going to be blooming soon♪ To those of you planning on visiting while Takizakura is in bloom, if you don’t mind Rika coming along and dragging me, I’d love to take you there so please come and volunteer! (lol)
To be continued(^_^;)
I wasn’t feeling good yesterday, so for the first time in a long while, I skipped out on writing a blog entry. For two days I was so tired and couldn’t shake it, but today I finally recovered. I’m sorry if I made you worry.
I was amazed by how much humans can sleep! It was like god said, “Take a break!”
I was able to rest easily because Rika was able to be walked by our volunteer Yuu-kun. Thank you.