31st, March, 2011 ‘ Kesennuma second relief mission’2011年3月31日「第二回・気仙沼救援ミッション」

Today’s Kesennuma mission was the biggest scale ever of relief work since this ministry has started. This project was planned to reach the total of 13 different places. Among the 12 places are related with the members of our church, and plus Kesennuma Island where the regular ply has just resumed from today. We prepared the three vehicles and loaded the supplies: one in 2.75tons truck which was to go to Kissennuma Island and both the car from our church and the station wagon from the Kansai team which were to go to the remaining 12 places. Altogether 15 of us were joining this project. Although we were late for departure, we safely arrived at our destinations around 2:30p.m. Since we had too many places to distribute the supplies, we divided into the two teams to work parallel. Before separating, we quickly had a look at the Port Kesennuma, and Pastor K murmured, ‘here is a graveyard of ships…’ As he said, the huge ships, which some of them might weigh 1.000 tons, were running on the land and scorched. Although not many houses where were located near the port were collapsed since they were made of concrete, yet they were still lying in the dust. It was unforgettable that ‘the sea was unusually close to the land’ due to the land subsidence. It seemed that plenty of the sea water could enter the land at the time of flood tide. Even some part of the quay was covered by the sea water, and the water smelled out slightly by the oil floating on the water. It seemed it would take more than a year for the port to be fully retrieved.
The team which was distributing within the Kesennuma city finished their task after about two hours, though they struggled to drive due to closing of the roads. They loaded the supplies on the sitting area of a passenger boat, called ‘Himawari’, in order to deliver those supplies to Island as well. According to S captain on the boat, ‘I came to offing to protect the boat straight after the earthquake. After a while the tsunami which was like a mountain high hit. When I climbed up onto the wave, plunging the top of the boat into the wave, I felt like falling down into the valley of 10m high. The wave stroked many times, and it was very awful.’ But there were only very few captain those who could save the boat like him. Therefore, there had been almost no provision of relief supplies for the first week after the earthquake to this Kesennuma Island. An hour after we loaded every kind of supplies on the boat, such as vegetable, underwear, disposable heating product, sanitary material, winter cloth, stove, kerosene, or battery etc, we got a phone call from Mr.S who was at the disaster countermeasures office, saying that ‘we received the supplies safely!’ we were very grateful to see that the supplies we delivered will be used effectively.
On the other hand, the team which was working around the 9 places of Otani coast area and Honyoshi were driving forward, but struggled by the rough roads alongside of the coast. They finally completed their mission after three hours, facing the fear of puncture of the tire, the obstacles of the debris on the road, and the narrowed line alongside of the road which was shrunk till only 10cm, washed by the tsunami. On their way back at Senyama, both teams joined again. When they returned, there was an atmosphere of comfortable tiredness among them. We were so grateful for the great work of the 9 volunteers those who are leaving tomorrow early morning. One more thing which made us surprised on this day was that the petrol station near the Ikkan interchange were opening even in the evening, and only 10 vehicles were queuing there, since all the more there was a long queue at least 500m long in Sendai on that same day. It seemed that the situation of the petrol supply has been completely back to normal in the place where the population is relatively few within the local core city, although it was extremely costly, 166 yen per liter, probably being taken advantage of the situation…今日はこのはたらきが始まって以来最大の規模で行われたのが、今日の気仙沼ミッションでした。教会員の関係者12箇所、そして今日からやっと定期便の運行が再開された気仙沼大島への物資輸送が加わり、合計13箇所に届こうというプロジェクトでした。このために三台の車を用意しました。広島チームの2.75tトラックには大島行きの物資を、教会車と関西チームのバンには残り12箇所向けの物資を搭載し、総勢15名が参加しました。出発が遅くなりましたが、2時半頃、無事に見地に到着しました。すでに一度、キングスガーデンへの物資輸送ミッションで来ているのですが、今日はあまりにも届ける箇所が多いため、二手に分かれて同時並行で届けました。それに先だって、気仙沼港をざっと見ましたが、K先生は「ここは船の墓場だね…」とポツリと語られました。その通り、見上げるような大きさの船(1000トンクラスもあったと思います)が陸地に乗り上げたり、焼け焦げたりしていました。港に近い家屋はコンクリート製の建物が多いためか倒壊こそ少ないものの、やはり壊滅状態でした。印象的だったのは、地盤が下がったことで「海が異様に近い」ことでした。満潮時・大潮時などは大量の海水が入ってきそうな状況でした。岸壁も、ところによっては海水が入り込んで水に浸かっていました。その海水にもオイルが浮かび、うっすらと異臭を放っています。港の完全復旧には年単位の時間がかかりそうでした。そのような中で気仙沼市内を回る班は、通行止めの道に悩まされつつも、なんとか2時間ほどで任務を終えました。また、大島への物資は、「ひまわり」という本来客船として用いられている船の座席に、荷物を搭載して運んで頂きました。船長のSさんのお話によれば「地震が発生した直後に、船を守るため沖合に出た。やがて山のような津波がやってきた。舳先を波にツッコミながら波を上ると、10メートルの谷に落っこちるような感覚だった。波は何派にも分かれてきた。恐ろしかった」ということでした。このように、船を守ることができた船主の方は、ごく僅かしかいませんでした。このため、気仙沼大島への補給は非常に限られ、地震発生当初1週間は、補給は皆無に等しかったそうです。野菜、下着、カイロ、衛生用品、防寒具、ストーブ、灯油、電池などあらゆる種類のものを船に乗せて頂き、1時間後、「無事に受け取りました!」と、大島の災害対策本部のSさんよりお電話を頂きました。お届けした物資が有効に生かされることは本当に感謝でした。
一方、大谷海岸・本吉の9箇所を回る班は、海岸沿いの荒れた道に悩まされながら進んでいました。がれきが行く手を遮り、併走する線路は押し流され幅10cm程度に縮まっていたり、パンクの恐怖と闘いながら、3時間を費やしてようやくmission completeとなりました。途中千厩(せんまや)で合流して帰仙したメンバーには、心地よい疲労が漂っていました。ボランティアスタッフ9名は翌日早朝に旅立ちです。本当に良き働きをして下さり感謝でした。

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