Quake-devastated communities face rebuilding task
Some quake-devastated communities are starting to pull together to move on.
Construction of temporary housing began on Friday in Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture, where the tsunami wrecked many houses.
The city says it needs 3,000 units to accommodate more than 4,900 evacuees taking refuge in shelters.
The first 250 units will be built in the grounds of a hotel run by the local government. Households with elderly people and infants are likely to be given priority.
However, the temporary housing will not be completed until late May, given the shortage of materials and fuel for heavy machinery.
In Ofunato City, also in Iwate Prefecture, an elementary school held a graduation ceremony for 53 pupils, including a boy who was killed by the tsunami.
Twelve-year-old Keita Matsubara was in a car with his grandparents and elder brother when the tsunami hit.
His grandfather, who was the only survivor, attended the ceremony along with the boy’s aunt. She received his certificate of graduation.
The grandfather said he wished he could have seen Keita attend the ceremony, and he is sorry that he alone survived without being able to save his grandchildren.
In Minami Sanriku Town in neighboring Miyagi Prefecture, a bicycle shop manager is repairing bikes free of charge, even though he himself is an evacuee.
Sixty-two-year-old Hideaki Sato lost his house, shop and practically everything else in the tsunami.
But he has borrowed tools to carry out repairs to help people who rely on bicycles as their only means of transportation.
Friday, March 25, 2011 15:29 +0900 (JST)