Pick­ing up the pieces dev­as­tat­ing for sur­vivors

Townsville Bulletin - - World Snapshot - Janet Fife-Yeomans

THEY wan­der hope­fully, help­lessly through a dev­as­tated waste­land.

Par­ents search­ing for lost chil­dren. Hus­bands, wives, l overs s eek­ing part­ners they have not heard from.

A griev­ing mother lov­ingly strokes the hair of her daugh­ter, whose body is recog­nis­able in the crushed wreck of a car in the town of Ya­mamoto.

A young woman, her shoes caked in the mud cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing, stands wrapped in a blan­ket in the mid­dle of Ishi­no­maki in the hard­est hit Miyagi pre­fec­ture, where en­tire towns have sim­ply ceased to ex­ist.

Evac­uees walk through flooded streets, car­ry­ing noth­ing be­cause they have noth­ing left.

Schools were full on Fri­day so many chil­dren were saved. But many have lost their par­ents.

Res­cue work­ers use chain saws and hand picks to dig bod­ies out of the waste.

But in the mid­dle of the dev­as­ta­tion, there are signs of hope. Hiromitsu Shinkawa was found sitting on the roof of his float­ing home 15km from shore. His wife is miss­ing.

In Mi­namisan­riku, where up to 10,000 peo­ple are un­ac­counted for, a strong wind has been blow­ing, mak­ing the ef­fort to find sur­vivors and re­trieve bod­ies haz­ardous.

Of­fi­cials in Iwate, one of the three pre­fec­tures hard­est hit, are ap­peal­ing for fu­neral homes na­tion­wide to send body bags and coffins.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.