Some able to flee Japan, others trapped
AN Australian and his family stranded in Japan will fly home today but hundreds more of his countrymen are still stuck.
Gosford mother Robyn Miller heard late yesterday that her son Peter, stranded for five days in the town of Kaimishi with dwindling supplies, was finally being evacuated with his wife Olga and t wo children, Dmitriy, 3, and Anastasia, 1.
But their joy was a rarity among the Australians still trapped in Japan.
Many of the more than 2000 Australians considered safe after the 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami hit last Friday are now becoming increasingly frustrated, unable to leave the country because dwindling petrol rations and damaged roads have left them isolated.
But it is not only Australian expats who remain stranded.
Seventy-s i x Australian doctors, paramedics and firefighters working in the fishing town of Minami Sanriku, alongside Swiss and New Zealand emerg- ency personnel, have also been left stranded.
NSW Fire Brigade Superintendent Kim Reeson and his crew have run out of petrol and are running out of water.
They are sleeping in tents 20km from where they are wading through destroyed houses looking for tsunami victims. It is becoming a major issue.
Supt Reason said they would have to join the 3km line to wait for petrol so they could use their generators, a process that strips hours from rescue efforts.
Frustrations are growing as relatives of the Australians reported safe in Japan say that they are not getting any i nformation from DFAT and that their phone calls are not being returned.
An i ncreasing number complain of being ignored.
Melbourne’s Christopher Aiezza said he made several attempts to reach consulate officials yesterday without luck, a story that is being repeated often.
Jason Briffa, who is 180km from the Fukushima nuclear zone, remains scared about potential nuclear contamination.
His mother Mary claims the consulate told him to leave, but he has no transport and little supplies.
‘‘ He was cleaning up the area and helping and has just got electricity back on, but he doesn’t know what to do.
‘‘ He doesn’t know how to get out of there,’’ Mrs Briffa said.
Another Australian, Melbourne teacher Cherie Firth, escaped the disaster zone thanks only to British consular officials.
COMING HOME: John and Robyn Miller with a photo of son Peter, who will return to Australia today with his wife and two children