A reminder that, gripping and terrifying tho it is, only one person at Fukushima so far has died (and that was because a crane fell on him, not because of radioactive poisoning). The death-toll from the earthquake/tsunami, on the other hand, is around 20,000 and still rising.
As a commenter on the BNC blog wrote, “If you look at the media coverage you’d almost think all the misery is caused by the Fukushima plants while in reality, the real deaths and misery are caused by a devastating tsunami and earthquake.”
Around the Shark Museum in downtown Kesennuma, a coastal city of 73,000 residents about 150 miles north of Tokyo, it looks like the tsunami hit yesterday – not 18 days ago.
On a sunny afternoon, a few survivors wearing masks and gloves sift through the debris of what used to be their homes or shops. Twisted poles, jagged beams and tossed ships remain after a series of tsunamis reorganized civilization into piles of chaos.
Amid the stench of rotting corpses and more than two-weeks-old garbage, it’s hard for the disoriented, the drunken and the homeless not to faint and fall over in the street
“Most people are still too scared to even come down here and look at this,” says Takeshi Utsumi, whose downtown electronics shop was swept away along with most everything else in the low-lying half of Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture. “We can’t even begin to think about rebuilding our lives here.”
While politicians in Japan’s parliamentary Diet in Tokyo debate how to deal with the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear reactor, many survivors in this coastal city still are just trying to find food, water and warm blankets.
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