Archive for April, 2011

Japan: Aftermath AND Aftershocks

April 11, 2011

Dr. Yumi Yamamoto has kept us informed about news as it’s reported in Japan.  You can read her reprots on our Website at

Here is a start:

April 11, 2011 from Dr. Yumi Yamamoto

Dear Victor,

Here in Japan the aftershocks have been happening. Last night there were shakes as big as TV had to show alerts almost every 5 to 10 minutes from 5 to 8 pm. As I wrote in the report before, houses that had survived are collapsing, even 10 minutes ago.  There was a pretty big shake on Honshu Island, of which origin was not far in the ocean.

Dr. Yumi Yamamoto

Fukushima nuclear accident has been classified as level 7, which is as high as the one in Chernobyl..


April 8, 2011 From Dr. Yumi Yamamoto

We hear a lot of heartful messages from all over the world. Thank you very much.

In the midnight (11:32 pm) of yesterday, the strongest aftershock (magnitude 7.1) hit the north eastern coast of Honsyu, Japan, which was the same area of the earthquake on March 11th. Fortunately the crucial damage at the atomic power plants have not been reported yet by this shake.

A 79 year old man died because of a cardiogenic shock, and many others were injured. Some houses, buildings, roads, etc which had survived through the disaster were destroyed.

Others which had been under reconstruction since March 11th got serious damage again. Because it happened in the midnght, this time, people who had not been at a normal mental condition already through the consequences of the disaster, were frightened extremely.

Children who were sleeping at the shelters got awake because of a big shake and cried in terror. The electricity has been off at the large area.

April 5, 2011  Report from Dr. Yumi….

Thank you for your warm prayers and kind donations to Japan.

A doctor of postmortem examination sent a message to one of Japanese newspaper companies yesterday.

On the day he saw a small body with mud and grasses lying on the table at a gym that was used as a temporary shelter for dead people in Miyagi Prefecture, where more than 7,000 people were killed by the earthquake and the tsunami.

Because his job is to examine the bodies of dead people, he should have got accustomed to it. But when he saw a girl who was just at the age of his own daughter, he could not hold tears. By the name tag she carried on her clothes, he could recognize she was a pupil of the third grade in the elementary school (10 years old). Her belonging was an emergency bag filled with stuff, such as retort pouches. It should have been too heavy for her to run away with when the tsunami came. He found many people died were found with heavy bags with a lot of stuff like her. Because people there knew what would come after the earthquake, they tried to run away with things as many as they could have.

Because the tsunami came about 20 minutes later after the earthquake, they tried to prepare for a temporary life in the shelters. He wrote if the little


 girl had gone immediately with no baggage, she might have survived.

Ban is a two year old female dog. She was found floating on a house roof at one mile offshore of Miyagi Prefecture on April 1st, which was after 3 weeks of the disaster. The news of her rescue was on TV, and she met her owner at last after 24 days of the earthquake.

Here we had bad news and good news. People at the shelter try to go ahead with good news and it is what we have to do. Our steps for a recovery in the next many years has just begun.

Here is the film of Ban.

Helping Japanese Evacuees is a team effort – including children

April 2, 2011

See more at

Dr. Yumi Yamamoto writes to us:

Thank you for your warm prayers and kind donations to the people in Japan.
March 30th

I received several reports from the doctors who are working at the area of the disasters. It is like  working in field hospitals in war. They are lacking  electricity, water, drugs, staffs, beds, clean gauzes, information and many other things that should exist normally.

My cousin wrote me about her friend nurse. When the tsunami came which flushed out the area where she lived, she was working at hospital. Later she knew the tsunami took everything, even her parents, but she had no way to go to look for them. She had no home to go back She had no clothes to change into.

She had no bed to sleep on after the hard work besides the floor at hospital. In a week or so, her parents’ bodies were found. But she has to keep working like every other medical staff is doing without any funeral ceremonies for them.

At the shelters children are organizing ‘Kata tataki Tai’, which means a shoulder massage club. These children visit old people in the shelter and they give massages on their shoulders (see left). What one can do may be very very little, but their small weak hands can make old people smile and happy. One child asked a lady when she was giving massages on her shoulder if she felt better, and the lady answered, ‘Yes, I am feeling as good and comfortable as though I am in Paradise.’

Twenty days have passed after March 11th.

Spoke on Skype with Dr. Sam Chilopora today

April 1, 2011

Today we spoke with Dr. Sam Chilopora.  Good news and bad news.  First, the good news is that from in our Balaka Goat Program we have 16 baby goats born since our visit in September 2010!  They are

Dr. Sam Chilopora

doing well and we are very happy about this since so many of them died before this.  The orphan children depend on these goats for milk.  You can see some of what we have written about our Malawi goat program at

The bad news is that it’s coming to the end of the rainy season and there was not much rain this season.  Not enough to germinate the maize.  Crop prospect does not look good.

Bev and I will be in Malawi in a few weeks and will see our good friends….