Sunday, May 8, 2011

JAPAN - Postal workers, messengers of hope

The day to day, the neighborhoods affected by the tsunami change. Piles of rubble are moved to make way street. A motorcycle post goes. On his license plate, it says the name of Hachioji, a suburb of Tokyo. This is one of the bikes that were sent to Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture in to replace those washed away.

Norikazu Mori is a factor 42 years old. Its industry-Kazuma Minami, was buried under nearly two feet of water due to tsunami. The ground floor of all buildings are destroyed around the piling rubble and cars blocked the road failed. Norikazu Mori walking on rubble, approaching the entrance to a building, then launches a "Hello".

Unanswered. He puts his bag in the mail that he wanted to distribute and resumed his journey. The house nearby was completely destroyed. He goes his way without reporting his presence. Even in the ruined houses, if one looks carefully, one can see traces of people who came recently planks laid to facilitate the passage of the tatami removed from the ground and dried ...

Sometimes, the address an evacuation center. In the latter case, it will carry the mail there. But sometimes some people housed in the centers return home from time to time to store. Should in this case put the mail before the entry into or win with you? The choice is not always simple.

"The mail has arrived!" A woman was cleaning the entrance to his house ran when they heard the engine noise. "These are my first letters, thank you!" Bowing slightly, he hands him the letter. "I am pleased, as we still have no water or electricity, nothing ... you came. What a nice surprise! The mail has arrived! "As the phone lines are no longer functioning, many people try to get news by mail.

Remittances in recommended for most gifts of sympathy, increased. Curiously, the bills also are numerous. The post office of Ishinomaki, located not far from downtown, has also been devastated. Employees, customers and people who were nearby, while some seventy people, fled upstairs. The next day, the water level had not decreased and no relief was reached to them.

An employee of the nearby pastry shared with everyone the 200 donuts he brought with him fleeing. The third day, a helicopter came to rescue them. When the water receded, we discovered that it had destroyed the sorting machines, motorcycles and cars. Some employees were killed and others remained untraceable.

The staff initially thought it would take at least a month before the post office can reopen. But the director, Hidemi Onodera, said: "The delivery of mail to help reconstruction. It will not be perfect, but we'll start doing what we can. "Then they removed the mud, washed the floor and dried the wet letters.

A week after the earthquake, twenty factors have started to deliver mail on foot or by bike. Gradually, motorcycles arrived from all corners of the country: the district of Shibuya in Tokyo, the city of Sakata in Yamagata Prefecture, Shizuoka ... The hundred liters of gasoline and more necessary a day of delivery arrived in Sendai.

As the sorting is done manually and by consulting a list of persons residing in various centers, it takes much more time than usual. Of disaster subsided Initially, the number of letters delivered was limited to only 10% of the normal amount. Kyoko (74 years) and Hiroshi (79 years) Hoshi, Flood-Kazuma Minami, received a card Kyoko's brother (79 years), who lives in Yamagata.

"I wonder if my second letter will reach you. If you receive it, I urge you to let me know by phone. "This message is brief but polite Kyoko understand that his brother is concerned. Subsequently, he sent them money. "I am grateful, because we have neither clean or vacuum stove to keep warm," she said with a chuckle.

While delivering mail on his bike, Norikazu Mori feels like a slight easing in front of signs of reconstruction. Residents trying to clear the rubble stopped to chat with him in the garden. One of them even has the heart to joke. "We happen many bills! Too bad they were not blown away by the tsunami! "He exclaims.

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