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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Cows, beaches, death toll and mainly....debris.

Of all the beaches along the Eastern coast only  2 will open this summer. One is Jodogohama, where I first lived in Japan. Beautiful bay, wrecked with damage but it's a national heritage site so money poured in to swiftly clean it up. Other beaches are out of action due to the massive amount of rubble not yet cleared and the stench and unsanitory conditions. All the beaches are also being checked for sand radioactivity which takes time.

One hotel owner on the coast nearby said he thought his telephone had broken as nobody was calling to reserve for this summer. I guess hotels along the coast along with fisheries and farmers will also be suffering huge losses this year.

Thirty-four cows raised at Miyagi Prefectural Agricultural High School in Natori which was an area badly hit along the coast, were swept away by the tsunami. However, 14 of these cows survived, including three shown at a fair last week. These survivor cows have become lucky mascots at the school and are getting extra attention and care.

Meanwhile more than 90,000 people are still living in shelters more than three months after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and only a fraction of the debris dumped by the ensuing tsunami has been removed, according to official figures.
The death toll from the March 11 disaster reached 15,413 as of Saturday, although 13 percent, or about 2,000 bodies, have yet to be identified, according to the National Police Agency. Another 8,069 people remain missing.

The Environment Ministry estimated the disaster left 23.92 million TONS of debris in the three prefectures, Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate, that is a phenomonal amount of rubble and no place for it to go. As of last Friday, about 5.19 million tons--just 22 percent--had been moved to temporary storage spaces.

In Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, the city that had the most debris dumped on it by the tsunami, only 7 percent had been cleared, the govt says. This disposal of debris along with disposal of contaminated radioactive waste and water remain some of the hugest problems ahead.

At the plant in Fukushima prefecture, radioactive water is being de- contaminated slowly but govt still not giving the go ahead for the building of a larger trench to house overflow and the installation of zeolite lining for such a trench,  and systems that decontaminate water faster than those used, have been offered by various countries but have apparantly been refused.

Meanwhile it's good to see radiation levels in Sendai at least, are going down little by little.