Earthquake-stricken prefectures report at JFD's General Meeting

June 10, 2011

The Japanese Federation of the Deaf held the 62nd General Meeting on June 10 in Saga City, Saga Prefecture prior the National Conference of the Deaf.

Each representatives from three disaster-stricken prefectures reported the actual situation of the Deaf victims at the beginning of the meeting.

Fukushima Prefecture:
- The Deaf victims' safety confirmation has terminated.

- More evacuation centers have been provided by the prefecture due to the nuclear power plant accident.

- A few Deaf persons live in evacuation centers because of the radioactivity crisis. Even a Deaf victim has evacuated to as far as Okinawa in the southern island of Japan.

- The range of evacuation area due to the nuclear plant accident might extend as near as the Prefecture office of the Deaf association by about 15 km, and we may have to move the office to evacuate in other area.

Miyagi Prefecture:
- There was black out, no gasoline available for sale, either immediately after the earthquake. Three days later we were finally able to check around in the stricken area.

- The disaster-stricken situation actually looked like the town completely destroyed after the air raid on postwar days.

- We didn't know there was the warning on the tsunami, and thought it was nothing to hurt ourselves as the past tsunami at a time of the Chile earthquake, taking off the guard against the up-coming disaster, the devastating tsunami. We have decided the we must run away expecting when the earthquake occurs, a tsunami will follow.

- The municipalities need to offer the interpreting service, but their understanding to the needs of the Deaf community is insufficient.

Iwate Prefecture:
- Our association office, which is located away from the sea, had no damage directly caused by the tsunami, though there was damage done by the earthquake.

- The damage of Sanriku is severe because the tsunami reached up to about the fourth floor of the building with height of 30 or 40 meters.

- There are so many debris that prevent us from visiting Deaf victims' home to confirm their safety, so we turned round by car.

- The snowplough was hard in March. April came, and a few cherry blossoms were noticed to bloom in the stricken area, to be surprised, and we felt encouraged.

All the representatives from the stricken area thanked the encouragement and support from the whole country, and promised that they would work hard aiming at the revival in the future.

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