March 18, 2011: Local government authorities in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture have requested 500 ShelterBoxes to provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families who lost their homes in last week’s tsunami.
The request came via the local Rotary district and is initially for 100 ShelterBoxes for each of the following five cities: Miyako, Yamadamachi, Kamaishi, Rikuzentakata and Ofunato.
The ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) operating in the country are working in cooperation with the British Embassy, British military personnel and the US military to overcome the logistical challenges they are facing.
It is a seven-hour journey by road from Tokyo to the Iwate Prefecture and with fuel shortages, heavy snow, freezing temperatures and the ongoing nuclear situation there are a range of obstacles to overcome in order to ensure aid reaches the families who need it most.
‘Every disaster is different but this one is certainly posing a unique set of circumstances for us to deal with,’ said SRT member and ShelterBox International Director Lasse Petersen who has been in Japan since last Saturday.
‘We mobilised on day one because we knew there would be a need for the provision of emergency shelter. The specific needs request means we can now begin our distribution and we continue to be ready to respond in whatever capacity is required from us.’
About Shelter Box
We provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters at the time when they need it the most. Our Founder, Tom Henderson OBE, saw the humanitarian response in most disasters was in the form of food and medicine. Little or no assistance was being given in terms of safe, secure shelter to help families survive the first days, weeks and months as they try to rebuild their lives. ShelterBox was created to fill this void.
UPDATE MARCH 25, 2011: I am still poking around for photos or a followup by CNN or others major media where this story originated, but to no avail. Initially when I posted my article I referenced CNN, Kenn Surakai, and Global Animal Rescue – three sources. But, it is a self-referencing circle and without further validated sources, the story cannot be substantiated. It is a travesty by all accounts. I have posted updates so readers, on their own, can go over to Global Animal Rescue, and track what they have to say. I see limited credibility from all the original sources. If anything more comes to light from other sources, I will post at that time. Until then, I am posting nothing more on this story.
UPDATE: Information from one of PTWB readers indicates there is some question as to the actual rescue of the two dogs from Sendai as previously reported. Global Animal Rescue is following up on the story. Here is an excerpt from their site. Go there to continue following their updates.
MARCH 23, 2011: A comment from the Global Animal Rescue reader posted this account BUT NO PHOTOS.
Date: Wed, Mar 23, 2011 10:40 pm
Fuji Television has received countless inquiries regarding the two dogs our
camera crew met in the earthquake/tsunami ruins. As we have explained in our news program, shortly after, they were both rescued by an animal protection group that has professional knowledge regarding animal rescue. The brown dog is doing very well. The white dog was weak at first, but was given an IV injection and is currently with a vet. Both dogs had ID chips and their respective owners have been identified. Many pets are still stranded in the ruins looking for their owners. Fuji Television is relieved that our footage captured the attention of our viewers and resulted in the rescue of at least those two dogs.
MARCH 22, 2011: Global Animal Rescue has posted an editorial based on their interview with Kenn Surakai. Bottom line: we do not know who has the dogs, if they were in fact rescued, and if rescued where they are located.
CNN, UK Telegraph, NPR, PETA and ABC News affiliates have reported that the dogs were rescued and are being taken care of by an undisclosed veterinarian, based solely on Facebook posts by Kenn Sakurai, the owner of a dog food supply company in Japan. The major news media has not dug into the story to confirm or refute Mr. Sakurai’s claims, which have been varied at best. These large media reports have ignited Global Animal’s commentary and the internet itself, drowning Mr. Sakurai in his own accusatory word tsunami.
To get beyond the rumors, Global Animal interviewed Mr. Sakurai at length today. He said that he himself did not rescue the dogs, but rather, friends of his who are off-road bikers did. He stated there were only two dogs (not three as rumored) and the white dog, which Mr. Sakurai doesn’t know the gender of, was in bad condition from near drowning. The bikers wrapped the two dogs into separate blankets fastened with a metal ring on the corner (which the bikers had in case of their own accidents) and took the dogs to an undisclosed veterinarian, where they are being treated.
Read the entire article, click here
MARCH 18, 2011: The co-founders of GlobalAnimal.org spoke by phone this morning with Mr. Kenn Sakurai, who last week claimed in his Facebook Page that he assisted in the rescue of the two dogs in the “Loyal Friends” video. Given the apparent health of the dogs in the video, particularly the white dog (pictured right), it remains unclear whether they have survived. We have asked for photos of the dogs to confirm their survival and safekeeping. Given the unconfirmed reporting of the fate of these two dogs, Global Animal is awaiting the requested photos to verify the rest of Mr. Sakurai’s story about the dog’s rescue before printing it. Mr. Sakurai clarified in our interview that the donations he is accepting on his Facebook page are not for these two dogs or their care.
UPDATE: 12:14 AM, March 18, 2011 – TSUNAMI DOGS’ SAFETY UNCONFIRMED
Truth is a moving target, and sometimes comes in the form of uncertainty, without being wrapped up in a quick happy ending. Global Animal has received many inquiries regarding the loyal tsunami dog video (above) and we now regret to say that sources saying these two dogs are safe are unconfirmed. Susan Mercer, from Heart-Tokushima, one of the three rescue organizations connected with Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue And Support, wrote the following to Global Animal:
“We are amazed at the amount of support we are receiving from the International community and are deeply grateful. Isabella and team searched until dark for the two dogs that appeared in the youtube video but were unable to locate them. It has been rumored that they were rescued but we have yet to see any photos or videos of them post-rescue. We will update you when we find documented proof of their well-being.”
In Global Animal’s follow-up interview with Susan Mercer, she categorically stated that Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support did not rescue these two dogs, even though they went searching for them. So, the three legitimate rescue organizations connected with JEARS don’t know the dogs’ whereabouts, despite reports from CNN and The Telegraph UK. CNN’s video report by Jeanne Moos reported the dogs were rescued, citing a Facebook entry by a man named Kenn Sakurais.
Global Animal has sent a message to Kenn Sakurai’s via his Facebook page asking him about the whereabouts of the dogs and for photographic proof that they are safe. We have not heard back yet. Global Animal is also in the process of finding the names of the veterinarians supposedly caring for the dogs to establish proof. Too little is known at this time of his intentions. If Ken Sakurai responds to us with photographic proof, Global Animal will report it immediately. Such is the nature of news in the social media age. Until proof can be established on the safety and whereabout of these dogs, Global Animal cannot recommend that donations be made to Kenn Sakurai on his Facebook page.
Our aim is to keep Global Animal readers updated as we continue to find out what is happening in a chaotic and often desperate situation. The truth is important. To this end, we will post continuous updates on this story and will notify Global Animal’s Facebook friends (“like” us on Facebook to receive updates). Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support is doing exceptional work. Susan Mercer explained to Global Animal that donations will provide food and water for the animals who are in evacuation sites with their guardians. Plus, they are actively trying to transfer lost and injured pets out of the devastated areas to safe undamaged areas, such as the HEART -Tokushima shelter.
ORIGINAL POST — NOW UPDATED AS UNCONFIRMED!
This brings tears to my eyes. I saw on CNN this morning the followup story on the two dogs in Sendai — one injured and one standing by his injured companion. The dogs have since been rescued and are being treated in the nearby town of Mito. I own two dogs and they are inseparable. This story I hope will encourage people to donate to animal rescue efforts.
Japan is in a state of emergency. An 9.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Japan on March 11, 2011, triggering a deadly tsunami. At the Fukushima nuclear plant, the quake caused massive explosions which threaten surrounding communities. Japanese media report that the death toll is rising. Thousands remain missing in the aftermath of the tragic disasters.
Save the Children has a team in Sendai, one of the worst-affected areas, establishing an operations base to help the most vulnerable children and their families.
Japan Disaster Facts
* An estimated 100,000 children have been displaced from their homes
Japan facing three disasters: earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation
Japan is on high nuclear alert for two nuclear reactors in Fukushima
Many tsunami-affected areas are still cut off from relief
More than 465 roads, 43 bridges and seven railways washed away
More than 380,000 people evacuated across the country
Latest News Update
Save the Children warns that as many as 100,000 children may have been displaced because of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Read the press release on their site.
I am a lifelong dog lover and owner. My dogs are my family and make me a better person. I would never leave my dogs behind for any reason, but in disasters dogs and their owners become separated. I am so very glad to hear of organizations like World Vets who are attending to the needs of animals in distress as a result of the massive 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan.
UPDATE 1:47PM (March 16)
World Vets is in Niigata, Japan right now with a shipment of veterinary supplies. They are headed out in a few hours (daybreak) toward the hardest hit areas to make assessments and provide aid. World Vets veterinarian Dr Koji Fukumura will be arriving in Tokyo on Friday and will be staying long-term as our in-country coordinator and to provide direct assistance to animals in need. Several World Vets responder teams are currently on standby as we assess the situation and collaborate with groups in Japan.
ASHEHAM PRESS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The now upgraded earthquake in Japan, to a stunning 9.0 (making it the 4th largest on record), and the subsequent 33 foot tsunami that surged into the coastline six miles, has had unforeseen consequences in severely damaging Northern Japan’s nuclear energy facilities. With multiple hydrogen explosions in three days, the threat of widespread radiation spreading within the region, already 60 miles out over the Pacific Ocean, and perhaps reaching Tokyo is now a real possibility as the inner steel container on reactor #2 appears to have been breached. I stress, appears to have been breached.
James Acton of the Carnegie Endowment appeared on MSNBC tonite. The event is now being categorized as surpassing Three Mile Island. The crisis is unfolding and it is uncertain as to the levels of radiation released. The immediate danger is to Japan and just off the Northeastern coast.
I cannot stress enough to please consider donating to aid efforts. Do your due diligence to make sure you are donating to a bonafide organization. Web sites can be faked. Con artists can make a web site look just like the Red Cross. I posted a list here yesterday.
NY Daily News reports: A third reactor exploded late Monday at the Japanese nuclear plant crippled by Friday’s earthquake, releasing a dangerous amount of radiation, officials said. A fourth reactor was on fire and there were fears that the steel containment vessel protecting the plant’s nuclear core had been breached – the worst-case scenario in such situations.
“There is a very high risk of further radioactive leaks,” Prime Minster Naoto Kan said in an address to the nation.”I ask you to stay calm.”
More than 180,000 people living in a 12-mile radius of the Fukushima Daiichi plant 150 miles north of Tokyo had already been evacuated over the weekend. Kan asked that people living between a 12- and 18-mile radius hunker down inside.
“Remain indoors, at home or in your offices,” he said. “Avoid going outside.”
Officials evacuated staff plant after reactor No. 2 exploded – the third blast there since Saturday.
I am adding a new category, Helping Japan. I will be making posts about ways we can assist the people of Japan to recover from the terrible disaster that has befallen their country. I urge people to do their due diligence first before donating. Make sure you are dealing with official web sites and authentic organizations. If you know someone in Japan, send your donations directly to them. Please note, International flights to Japan have been curtailed. Check schedules daily.
And don’t forget the animals:
Here is the initial list:
MSNBC — dateline.msnbc.com
AMERICAN RED CROSS: Emergency Operation Centers are opened in the affected areas and staffed by the chapters. This disaster is on a scale larger than the Japanese Red Cross can typically manage. Donations to the American Red Cross can be allocated for the International Disaster Relief Fund, which then deploys to the region to help. Donate here.
GLOBALGIVING: Established a fund to disburse donations to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Donate here.
SAVE THE CHILDREN: Mobilizing to provide immediate humanitarian relief in the shape of emergency health care and provision of non-food items and shelter. Donate here.
SALVATION ARMY: The Salvation Army has been in Japan since 1895 and is currently providing emergency assistance to those in need. Donate here.
AMERICARES: Emergency team is on full alert, mobilizing resources and dispatching an emergency response manager to the region. Donate here.
CONVOY OF HOPE: Disaster Response team established connection with in-country partners who have been impacted by the damage and are identifying the needs and areas where Convoy of Hope may be of the greatest assistance. Donate here.
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS: Putting together relief teams, as well as supplies, and are in contact with partners in Japan and other affected countries to assess needs and coordinate our activities. Donate here.