Even though many foreigners in Tokyo freaked out and ran out in an irrational panic, there are still a very many who want to be a part of, and help, the Japanese community as this is our home for better or worse (also because Ishinomaki and Kesenuma really are "Ground Zero" for the disaster).
In Ishinomaki and Kesenuma - and surrounding areas - over 27,800 people have lost their lives or disappeared.... The nuclear accident in Fukushima, while serious, is still only responsible for zero deaths and six injured (all who have been released from hospital with no expected complications).
My friends, Michio Hashimoto, Timo Budow, Ken Nishikawa and Roger Marshall all pitched in for the effort.
Michio took the photos below.
These photos say it all. Being at Ishinomkai and walking around and taking pictures and breathing the air was like a bad dream: Everything was covered in black sh*t and it smelled like a plugged toilet on a dirty, swampy fishing boat; it was like a nightmare.
Whatever you touched - or didn't touch - it didn't matter: the wrenched smell and rancid seawater mixed with the stench of death... It permeated your nostrils and it permeated your clothes.
I think I will have to shower and scrub heavily for a week or more to maybe have a chance to cleanse this putrid odor from my body pores.
It didn't matter what you touched or felt; you started feeling and smelling like the stinking spoiled, polluted ocean and the odor of death.
Buildings destroyed and deserted
Cars somehow smashed under buildings
40 meter long ships landed in neighborhoods that are 250 meters from the bay
Cars inside of shops
Slammed against light poles
The army runs baths that give warmth to over 200 people per day
On the front of the boat is spray-painted "Danger! Do not ride bikes!"
Two lawn chairs sit undamaged while cars and boats pile upon one another
Notice the car at right
Several ships sit in the middle of streets near the crossways
Every street looks like this or worse
Seemingly undamaged but completely abandoned... No electricity or water
View across the river
From the bridge looking towards the ocean (still about 6 kilometers away)
Looks like the view from Hiroshima Dome towards the ocean in 1945
Amazing that some buildings still stood
Houses near the waterfront are totalled
Entire business districts and neighborhoods destroyed
View from the side of a bridge over a river near Ishinomaki
Water heaters for Japanese military set up public baths
There's thousands of places like this with cars stacked on cars
There's thousands of places like this with ships sitting in the middle of neighborhoods all over, Ishinomaki, Kasenuma and other smaller towns and farms along the way. This is the real disaster.
Propeller of 10 tons ship sitting on main thoroughfare.
Mud and dirt caked over park near river
Typical case of rest area and/or park under a foot of mud
Like I said, there's ships like this everywhere
Car hanging over precipice about to fall into river
Finally, we delivered a two-ton truck of supplies to Sunnet Nagomi
center for the disabled and handicapped in Ishinomaki
Sunnet Nagomi is a center to care for the handicapped and the aged. We delivered, stationary, boots, plastic goods, water and other supplies.