During the first days after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan “The Voice of Russia” radio station became practically the only source of information and communication in the affected area. We have a lot of listeners in the Country of the Rising Sun and they have sent e-mail letters telling us what is going on there. Letters started to come in the first minutes of the catastrophe.
One of them is from Okumura Masataki from Saitama Prefecture: “An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 began in Japan at 2:50 today. There were 7 tremors and then a powerful tsunami 10 metres high came down on the coast from the Pacific Ocean. Many buildings have been destroyed, I think that the damage will be considerable. The tremors reached 6 points where I live and oscillations are still continuing now.”
He added later: “I have just reached home. Public transport is not functioning, so people have to walk. There are problems with electricity supply. Tremors are still going on. Luckily, everything is all right with my house. I’ve got my relatives on the phone, they are fine, so I’ve stopped worrying. Small wonder you found it difficult to get through to me. The communication is damaged, I cannot even send an e-mail to the north-east prefectures.”
Later Isioka Junji from the town of Aomori wrote to us.
“I thought that the most devastating earthquake took place in my student days on May 26th 1983. The quake struck in the center of the Sea of Japan. But the one that hit Japan on March 11th was horrible beyond imagination!
I survived, as you see, but spent 25 hours without electricity. Fortunately, I had an old stove and had stocked up on food. I stayed in contact with the outside world due to the radio. Radio broadcasts warmed my heart and became the only source of information.
It looks like Japan’s Pacific coast, particularly Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures, sustained most damage. A massive tsunami caused by the earthquake washed away homes, leaving residential areas flattened. I offer my heartfelt condolences for the people affected by the disaster.
As I tuned in to “The Voice of Russia” yesterday at a frequency of 720 khz, I heard alarmed voice messages from Russian people who expressed their sympathy with the people of Japan and were worrying about relatives who happened to be in Japan. The earthquake seems to have triggered the worst tragedy ever”.
We have managed to find Olga Ganzvindt who now lives in the town of Sanyo and whose Russian relatives were looking for her. They sent a letter to “The Voice of Russia” at the address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our correspondent interviewed Stanislav Orlovsky, a student in the town of Sendai. The earthquake did not damage this old centre of Japanese culture, Stanislav said on the phone.
“The town has not suffered. There are about 40 of us here who are from Russia and the CIS countries. We hear that the Russian Emergency Ministry together with the Russian Embassy is going to evacuate us from here via the nearest airport in Niigata.
Everything is more or less quiet in Sendai now. There are food shortages, though, and a lack of information. People spend hours on the phone and the Internet has been restored. It was certainly difficult on the first day after the earthquake because there was no electricity, water or gas. Now life is slowly coming back to normal”.
Recall that “The Voice of Russia” is one of a few media available to the affected regions of Japan. We broadcast there on short and medium waves in Japanese, Russian, English and Chinese. We decided to take part in the search for those who are missing. Everyone who does not know anything about their relatives and friends in Japan can leave messages with the number +7 (495) 950 64 84 or write a letter to the e-mail address email@example.com. We will broadcast your information. The same number and address can be used for expressing your support to the Japanese people. Such letters are coming from all over Russia now.