Tzu Chi Delivers Aid to 1,200 Disaster Survivors in Japan

News and Press Release
Originally published

On April 27, Tzu Chi volunteers delivered aid to more than 1,200 victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami who have taken refuge in Kisai High School, Saitama Prefecture, a suburb of Tokyo.

The earthquake and tsunami, which struck the northeast of Japan on March 11, killed over 14,000 people, left 12,000 missing and damaged or destroyed 125,000 buildings. The devastation forced thousands of people to leave their homes and live in other parts of the country. Among them are 1,262 who lived in a town next to a nuclear reactor in Fukushima that was badly damaged by the tsunami and has since been leaking radiation. The town is within an exclusion zone around the plant; the government has ordered those who live in it to go elsewhere. The 1,262 were moved to Kisai High School, Saitama Prefecture, Saitama prefecture on the outskirts of Tokyo.

On April 27, 43 Tzu Chi volunteers from Japan held a distribution for the refugees, handing out blankets, shawls, mixed nuts, packets of instant soup and reusable chopsticks and bowls. They also brought comfort and consolation and said prayers for the victims of the disaster. As is the Tzu Chi custom, they delivered the items in person, embracing the recipients. This moved many of them to tears.

One grandmother said that she did not know when she would be able to return to her hometown. One 69-year-old man named Nakamura, said that they had moved into the secondary school three weeks earlier. "We deeply thank the people of Tzu Chi who have come from far away to help us. We are all feeling very anxious. We are so grateful that you have all come to see us."

Tzu Chi people are the first to arrive at the scene of a disaster and the last to leave. They bring warmth, concern and prayers and carry love to those who are suffering.To learn more about Tzu Chi Foundation, visit http://tw.tzuchi.org/en/

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