Triple Threat: photo courtesy of Kinship Circle, Japan 2011
“Rikuzentakata Shi, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. Fellow Kinship rescuer Ron Presley and I searched for any signs of life. The only creature we found alive was one snake. To scale: I am the tiny red dot in the center-right of the screen.
by Courtney Chandel, Volunteer for Kinship Circle
I deployed with the first Kinship Circle volunteer team on 3/26/11, shortly following the disasters in Japan. We immediately understood how, due to the earthquake and tsunami, so many people and animals never made it out alive. Coastal towns were wiped off the map. Besides buildings, whole roads were pulled up and out to sea, and large fishing vessels were stranded on land far away from any waterline. Everything was backward. We saw boats where buildings should have been, and the buildings were out in the ocean. The destruction went on for hundreds of miles of coastline.
At harbors and inlets, buildings, cars, and everything else was simply smashed and blended together. Above, this inlet in the town of Rikuzentakata Shi where thousands had died was at least a mile from any ocean shore. We could not see, hear, or even smell the ocean from here. Fellow Kinship rescuer Ron Presley and I searched for any signs of life. The only creature we found alive was one snake. As people evacuated from destroyed areas, there was also a 20-kilometer (approximately 12.5 miles) mandatory evacuation zone surrounding the nuclear power plants which were
56 Fall 2011 | The American Dog Magazine
affected by the tsunami. This meant there were a lot of abandoned animals, mostly cats and dogs, chained or roaming the streets in the cold without food or water or the comfort of a familiar hand. Non’s Story—A Family Affair Fukushima, Japan (3/29/11) “10 days!” a woman cried on the phone. Most evacuees imagined a one-day leave from the nuclear exclusion zone in Fukushima Prefecture. But 10 days had passed since the caller left her white Shiba Inu, Non, alone at her house in Oguma. “Can you rescue him?”
MAGAZINE - FALL 2011