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Divers continue search for Japan's missing

03-10-2012 15:18 BJT Special Report:Japan: One Year After Quake and Tsunami |

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Sunday marks the first anniversary of Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami. The twin disasters took more than 15,700 lives and 4,467 people are still missing. Our Correspondent Terrence Terashima visited a town in Iwate Prefecture and joined one of the search operations.

It was the last day of the search operation. Divers ready themselves for the last chance to find clues of the 153 missing residents, taken by destructive tsunami.

Police officers search for bodies in an area damaged by the March 11, 2011 earthquake
and tsunami in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture March 9, 2012, ahead of the one-year
anniversary of the disasters.

The five-day operation was conducted from land and sea, 125 residents, and volunteers, joined by local police force search the bay where still a lot of debris are sunk

Reporter: “They are well equipped and trained. And above all their motivations are high. But surprisingly most of these divers are local divers who were trained right after the disasters”

The divers vary from town employees, local workers and fishermen. Some only got their license this year. They all had one wish.

Yamada-Madhi resident Kazuo Sasaki: “I do it because I want to return the missing people to their families.”

These local divers were trained by Search and Rescue experts, who volunteered to teach their skills and set up a team of skilled residents for future eventualities.

Daisuke Hashikawa, deputy commander of Yamada-Madhi Construction Support Team said: “Damage from the tsunami covers a vast amount of area, and governments can not cope with the overwhelming needs. I think it is the local residents that can be mobilized quickly in times of emergency and continue with search and rescue operations. I think it is important for residents to be trained”

Hashikawa said having these trained residents would not only be a comfort for the community, but will play an important role in starting a search and rescue operation during a disaster. Possibly acting as a guide to a local and international rescue teams.

There were also large number of local residents, providing support and logistical assistance.

Many of whom lost their families or home. Like Takako Taishaku.

Yamada-Madhi resident Takako Daishaku said: “I know personally some of the people that are still missing. I want to be part of the effort that would help people move forward towards recovery”

Reporter: “Like many other cities devastated by tsunami on March 11th 2011. This town is far from recovery. But people are being positive, taking matters literally into their own hands, biding the communities together, continuing search for the missing, they say they hope to return as many as possible before one year is past.”

Police officers search for bodies in an area damaged by the March 11, 2011 earthquake
and tsunami in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture March 9, 2012, ahead of the one-year
anniversary of the disasters.

Aiki Sato, 8, (C) prays with his father Yoshihiko (R) and his friend Miroku
Shiga, 9, pray for students of Okawa Elementary School who died in the March
11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami at the school in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture,
March 10, 2012, a day before one-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami.



Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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