Japan quake: MSF team assesses quake-battered area

On Saturday evening, the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) assessment team reached the area of northeast Japan hit by the devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake.

“In some places, we saw that houses and buildings had been completely destroyed. Local people said the water from the tsunami had gone down from yesterday, but there was still a lot of flooding.” said Mikiko DOTSU, the coordinator of the MSF assessment team.

The MSF team is in an evacuation centre in Sendal City with around 100 local people checking their health, and say that initially it appears that medical needs are being met.

“The authorities said that there are 90 DMATs (Disaster Medical Assistance Teams)  already working in Miyagi prefecture. They seem to have enough people. There is a hospital referral system already set up and the hospitals are managing,” said Mikiko.

Although the medical situation in Sendai appears to be under control, the population has needs.

“At the moment, there is very little electricity and no water supply. People need food, blankets and water. These needs are bigger than medical needs at the moment,” said the assessment coordinator.

The team will continue their assessment Sunday, and will be joined by further MSF medical and logistics personnel.
* At present we are not requesting donations specifically for our work in Japan. Why?