We’ve been here in Sendai for two days and haven’t had much spare time for anything including blogs. Most of our time has been spent establishing cooperative networks with local pastors and churches and delivering supplies to the needy. The goal is to encourage, assist and enable local churches to reach out to those in need in their local communities.
Today we traveled to Ishinomaki, a city north of Sendai and drove along a river dike, giving us a bird’s eye view of the destruction.
Things got worse as we neared the mouth of the river.
When we finally reached the ocean we were overwhelmed by the absolute devastation. A large concrete building looked like it had been torn to shreds.
The elementary school next to it had windows blown out on all three floors.
Residents estimated that the tsunami must have been in excess of twenty meters when it hit that point.
Further down the road we passed through a couple of small hamlets that had probably contained twenty or thirty homes each. In one there was nothing left standing. In another there were two skeletal remains of homes and everything else was completely washed away.
The hardest part was seeing people sifting through the rubble, searching the spot that had been home to them until 10 days ago, hoping to find something, anything to salvage as a reminder of life when it was normal. We had very little to say after seeing all of this first hand.
But yet there is hope! Just yesterday the media team that has joined us found themselves at the right place at the right time. Walking through the rubble of destroyed homes in another part of Ishinomaki they witnessed an unbelievable rescue of an 80 year old woman and her teenage grandson a full 9 days after they were buried in their home. To say the media team was excited last night as they edited and uploaded the story is an enormous understatement. In addition to posting it on their site, grassrootsnews.tv they were able to sell the story to ABC news! See the full story here.