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Nanae KATAYAMA (31 years of age) gave birth to her 3rd child on March 24th. (The baby has not been given a name.) I was in the house by myself, when the earthquake occurred. I put my head under the table, the things fell off but the house stayed still. Next moment I thought about my little boys in the nursery home, whether it is safer to pick them up and bring them back to the house where things are everywhere, or let them stay there. The neighbors started to come out of the house, so I did. My friend was going to pick up her son at the same nursery home, so I went with her and collected two sons. I ran up to the hilly area with kids in both my hands and in my stomach. Afterwards, I was told that the tsunami hit the nursery home 5 to 10 minutes later than that. Now a car is hanging off the entrance gate of the nursery home and possibility of some children lost their lives. If I didn't get a lift with my friend at that time, I would never ever have been able to hold my sons' hands again. When I think about it, it is really scary. On top of the luck I didn't lose my sons, now I am very happy to have long wanted a girl baby.


At the Red Cross Hospital in Ishinomaki there have been many patients after the tsunami, many of them treated in the hallways in the hospital. The Japanese Red Cross has been working in the disaster area since Day 1, and today 48 teams are out working with health and relief.


On March 11, 2011, a powerful earthquake hit Japan. The tsunami following the major earthquake caused devastation along the eastern coastline of Japan, killing thousands of people. More than 10,000 people are (per this date) confirmed dead, and about 17,000 people are still missing or unaccounted for, according to official numbers. About 250,000 are displaced.


Photo: Olav A. Saltbones/Norwegian Red Cross

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Taken on March 27, 2011