Entries in Sendai (4)


WWII Bomb Discovery Prompts Airport Shutdown in Japan

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images(SENDAI, Japan) -- Officials closed one of northern Japan's major airports Monday upon the discovery of an unexploded bomb, believed to be from World War II, near a runway.

Flight arrivals and departures were canceled at Sendai airport while a bomb disposal unit investigated the device, found during construction work. The unit determined the WWII-era bomb had been made in the U.S.

BBC News reports the airport, now under construction for repairs after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, had operated as a Japanese military flight school during the war.  

Sendai police officials are considering evacuating nearby homes as the disposal unit decides how to remove the ordinance, BBC reports.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Japanese Follow Social Order After 9.0 Quake

MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images(SENDAI, Japan) -- Overnight and into the grey, chilly morning, long lines formed outside small convenience stores and supermarkets throughout the tsunami-ravaged city of Sendai.

At one, Daiei, the orderly lines had begun 12 hours before the shop opened and stretched for blocks. Despite the line's length everyone remained calm and polite.

As Japanese survivors cope with food and gasoline shortages amid the aftershocks and rising body count, they draw on a strong sense of social order. Unlike scenes in natural disasters in Haiti and New Orleans, there is little anger, no looting.

Neighbors are willing to share with others and are cutting back on energy use on their own to limit the need for rotating blackouts.

Four days after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami, "They are doing OK," said Ron Provost, president of Showa Boston Institute for Language and Culture, a campus of the University of Tokyo. "These are tough, strong, strong people."

Some of that community-minded resilience may come from its geography and dense population. Japan is only slightly smaller than the state of California and has a population of 127 million people.

The public broadcaster NHK is reporting 1 million Japanese missing and some have estimated the death toll could climb into the tens of thousands. An estimated 2.5 million households, or 4 percent of Japan's total population, are without electricity.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Japan Quake: Survivors Walk Among the Dead to Find the Missing


(ISHINOMAKI, Japan) -- For many Japanese searching for loved ones killed in Friday's quake and tsunami, the search ends with a walk among the bodies of the dead, laid out in orderly rows in makeshift morgues popping up along the country's northeast coast.

In Ishinomaki, a coastal city some 30 miles north of Sendai in hard-hit Miyagi Prefecture, the hospital's morgue is too small to handle the ever-growing number of dead. The city's municipal gymnasium houses the dead. There are now more than 1,000 arranged in rows on the hardwood floors, just enough room between each body for relatives to walk among them, searching the faces for those they lost.

The bodies are not refrigerated or cooled on ice and can remain there only briefly, said Masaaki Abe, a spokesman for the Red Cross at Ishinomaki Hospital. At first, funeral homes volunteered to provide traditional Shinto rites to the dead, donating white shrouds and cremating the bodies.

"But there are too many of them for burning now," said Abe. "They must be buried quickly. This is much faster."

Officially the death toll is almost 1,900, but the Miyagi police chief has said 10,000 people are estimated to have died in his area. There are so many dead that officials are asking other parts of Japan to send them body bags and coffins since the supply in this area is quickly being exhausted.

As the dead are laid out the floors of public buildings, so too are the living. The hospital in Ishinomaki is overrun with the homeless and infirm. Red Cross workers triage the steady stream of patients and displaced persons. The building's large atrium is filled with the sick and elderly, sitting and sleeping on cardboard slabs. The exhausted staff say they are overwhelmed.

Many of the tens of thousands rendered homeless by the tsunami have sought shelter in hospitals and government buildings. In Sendai, the seat of Miyagi Prefecture, the corridors of the Prefecture Office, a building akin to a state capitol, have become shelter for the homeless. They sleep on opened cardboard boxes, warmed by blankets distributed by the Red Cross. A large room inside the office has been converted into a war room. Teams assigned to handle restoring water, electricity, sanitation, and public order gather around tables with maps splayed out in front of them.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Japan: Reporters Travel to Earthquake Ravaged Sendai

Photo by NASA via Getty Images(SENDAI, Japan) -- The city of Sendai, Japan, was hit hardest by Friday’s devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami; it sits on the northeast coast, just 80 miles from the epicenter of the quake.

Among the journalists on their way to Sendai is ABC News correspondent Clarissa Ward, who was making her way east toward the earthquake-ravaged city.


It has been an epic journey, even trying to get here. We have been traveling for more than 26 hours and were diverted through three different cities. We have now reached a point just less than 100 miles to the city of Sendai.

What is most striking is that when you look around here, the roads look fine, the buildings look fine, there’s electricity – but just another 50 miles down the road, that is all expected to change when we get to a town called Yamagata, which is being described as sort of the last frontier of the area where people are coming in and regrouping before going on to those affected areas. We have seen a lot of cars coming and going, but it’s impossible to say whether they are fleeing the area.

The people we’ve talked to are certainly very, very frightened. Our driver, for example, told us he that he had never felt anything like Friday’s earthquake. He said the ground was moving for five minutes and now he’s confronted with these sort of apocalyptic images on his television set.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio