- Title: JAPAN: Pets saved from tsunami stay in shelter in Kesennuma
- Date: 18th March 2011
- Summary: PEOPLE SITTING WITH DOG DOG LOOKING OUT WINDOW KESENNUMA RESIDENT 73-YEAR-OLD MITSUKO ITO LOOKING AT CELL PHONE
- Embargoed: 2nd April 2011 13:00
- Location: Japan, Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Reuters ID: LVA51EJ6IZV0423CJ77HK0EMF7QB
- Story Text: Dozens of people, along with their pets, took refuge in a school evacuation centre in Kesennuma, Japan on Thursday (March 17), in the wake of the country's devastating earthquake and tsunami last week.
The city of Kesennuma in northeast Japan, home to about 74,000 inhabitants, was devastated by tsunami waves on Friday (March 11), that swept away cars, ships and buildings in less than 10 minutes.
Overlooking the devastated area, the Kesennuma middle school acted as an evacuation centre, and provided an area for those who managed to escape with their pets.
"I was at work when the tsunami hit, and my husband was at home. So, he grabbed the dog and stuck it under his arm and just ran. All we have now is our dog," said 56-year-old YokoTakizawa, as she fed her dog bits of boiled egg.
The disaster also caught foreigners in its wake. 25-year-old English teacher Paul Fales from Michigan, who arrived 6 days ago was trapped in the city and decided to help out.
"I just kind of want to stay here really to ride the wave out, to help people if they need help with anything really. Everyone's been so nice and they make sure like, 'Are you okay?'. And everyone is being really humane. I really appreciate that, and I'm glad everyone is," Fales said.
Power has yet to be restored to the area, and subsequently, many are unable contact their families.
73-year-old Mitsuko Ito was living alone and was helped by another family to travel to the school, but had been unable to contact her children.
"I don't know what's happened to my daughter or to my son, I don't know if they're alive or not," Ito said, while holding back tears.
Hundreds of thousands of households in the north of Japan were still without electricity in near-freezing weather, Tohuku Electric Power Co. said.
The government said at least 1.5 million households are without running water.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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