JAPAN RELIEF EFFORT ONE MAN'S JOURNEY By Matt Szymanski
Disaster Overview <ul><li>Friday, March 11 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>An undersea earthquake with a magnitude of 8.9, one of the most powerful ever recorded, strikes off Japan ’s northeastern coast just before 3:00 pm local time. The authorities issue a tsunami warning. </li></ul><ul><li>A 10-meter tsunami wave smashes over the northeastern Japanese coast, causing massive damage and flooding. A series of aftershocks follows, many exceeding a magnitude of 7.0. </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese authorities announce that four nuclear power stations in quake-hit areas have been shut down. Eventually 11 of the nation ’s roughly 50 plants stop producing power. </li></ul><ul><li>The U.S. Geological Service announces the quake was the most powerful to hit Japan since records began. </li></ul>
Misawa Japan <ul><li>Misawa Air Base- Home of the 35 th Fighter Wing </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing it was close to hard hit coastal areas, I chose to head there. </li></ul><ul><li>Being retired military, I also knew that I would have a safe place to stay. </li></ul><ul><li>I arrived March 25, 2011 in search of joining volunteers. </li></ul>
There are several organizations and U.S. operations currently assisting in the relief effort, these are a few I found there. JAPAN RED CROSS and AMERICAN RED CROSS OPERATION TOMODACHI Joint U.S. Armed Forces assisting in support and relief efforts MISAWA HELPS Volunteers comprised of military and civilians (This is who I was fortunate enough to link up with)
Oirase (Beach Area) Hachinohe (Strawberry Farms ) While volunteering for several weeks with Misawa Helps, I was able to travel daily on a choice of two trips: Noda City
It has been an honor and a privilege to help the people in Japan. The volunteers at Misawa Helps will continue their support for a long time to come. Please help with your support and donations.
Please visit their Facebook site MISAWA HELPS To contact them directly for donation information – [email_address] For any other questions feel free to contact me at – [email_address] Thank you to Brent Duncan, Teresa Giustino, SrA Joe Mcfadden, and others on the Misawa Helps facebook page for some of the great pictures. To those at Misawa Helps, please keep up the great work!