European Association
of American Square Dancing Clubs e.V.

Friendship is Square Dancing's greatest reward


EAASDC-Bulletin August 2011


eMail from Japan
Doc Hiraga, Member-International Affairs Committee, JSDA

To: Wolfgang Daiss, President-EAASDC and Others in Europe and UK.

On 20th of June, a hundred days have past since the Big Earthquake hit the north east coastal areas of Japan. There are still being reported many sad stories from everywhere in Japan. I thought we have already known a rough image of the direct effects to our member square dancers, however, we now realize that it was only part of the effects. The indirect effects behind it are enormous!

  1. Many square dancers had the families of their brothers, sisters, relatives and the closest friends in the devastated areas and the grief of loss of those people with everything they had is now affecting our friends who live far from the areas and have been dancing with us for long time! I am hearing those stories everyday which makes me believe that we might lose a countable JSDA members due to various reasons as mentioned above.

  2. And still, we are determined that we definitely need the 50th All Japan Convention in Tokyo where the aftershock has decayed and the radioactive risk is nil in Tokyo. We definitely appreciate the PARTICIPATION from overseas. Your cheering up the Japanese dancers will surely console those who tend to droop with the feeling of loss.

  3. The head office of the organization has been working hard at the head office to expedite the help those affected in any modes of damages, intending to utilize the precious money donated and fundraised worldwide.

    As of June 16, the amount of donation worldwide totaled 20,79,707 Yen or 240 thousand U.S. Dollars approximately!! And there will be more coming in!!

    We, the JSDA, cannot put our thanks into words to everyone who supported us in this caring way. At this moment, the only interim appreciation and gratitude message is being given by this writing to all of them.

  4. On the 100th day, the organization released to all the club officers in the areas suffered in any modes of effects from the Big Earthquake, the resulted Tsunami and the land liquefactions, and lastly the nuclear reactor accidents of which news were brought to us afterward, all of which were the result of the M9.0 Quake on March 11, a request to fill out the Effect Investigation Form.

  5. Our plan to determine the sharing method of the donated money includes;

a) Living facilities such as houses, other buildings, cars and other assets.

b) Consideration on the family structures especially related to the education cost for children.

c) Some percentage of money will go to the public facilities which have been provided us the space to dance, and the Japan Red Cross for the general victims.

The percentage of the money will be determined after we have known the money to be allocated to the square dancers.

Summarizing the national loss in general (The Yomiuri, June 11 issue):

15,405 people killed,
8,095 people still missing,
90,109 people still stay at the refugee camps which include the evacuated from the high radioactive areas.

This was 468,653 at its peak on April 14.

52,500 temporary houses should have been built according to the original announcement, but the reality is only 28,280 (54%).

24 Million Tons of the Rubbles left on the land was estimated, and only 5.2 Million Tons (22%) has been removed.

Electricity supply stopped at 8.7 Million houses in total and recovered fairly well except that nothing could do for the 110 Thousand houses washed away and in the evacuated areas in Fukushima.

Natural gas supply has been recovered from the maximum of 400 thousand houses as far as viable. This excludes the totally devastated areas where all the buildings and facilities were washed away by the tsunami.

Water supply stopped in the wider areas at 2.3 Million houses at the highest. 59.8 thousand houses are still waiting for the recovery.

At 6,000 spots of the railways including the bridges were damaged in the 43 JR lines and the railways of over 200 miles at the seven local lines have not yet recovered.

15 national highways were destroyed, and the major one on the coastal areas has not yet been recovered.

171 local roads which had been destroyed have partly recovered but 21 roads are still under construction.

Here are some other data on the physical loss due to the devastation by a professional laboratory:

145,557 houses were totally damaged or washed away
5,725 houses half destroyed
11,533 partly damaged

Many of you may have watched the TV scenes in which many automobiles and the fishing boats were washed away and damaged. Here are some figures:

4,307 fishing ships and boats were damaged or lost
2 Million Trucks and 7.3 Million passenger cars were lost.

Note: This seems to be a biggest factor which is delaying the recovery on the individual basis.

The loss of the social infra-structure, the industries, the product inventories and so on is estimated as equivalent to 140 Million U.S. Dollars. These losses are now disabling Japan's speedy recovery.

It is reported that a huge Garbage Island is now moving slowly toward the west coast of the U. S. It must be carrying many dead bodies, damaged houses, ships, cars, tractors, and trucks.

Reviewing the disasters in this way, we only pray silently, thinking of the welfare the sufferers might be able to regain.

I hope this will help understanding where we now stand.

Doc Hiraga, International Committee of Japan SD Association, Inc.

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