Japan quake: MSF team assesses quake-battered area

© JIJI PRESSFlooded houses and driftwood near Sendai city in Miyagi prefecture

On Saturday evening (local time), the 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,"  said Mikiko Dotsu, the coordinator of the MSF assessment team. "Local people said the water from the tsunami had gone down from yesterday, but there was still a lot of flooding."

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.

© MSFFirst MSF team heads to Japn's earthquake zone.

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

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.


© JIJI PRESSHouses and rubbles were washed away by the earthquake and tsunami near Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture.
© JIJI PRESSHouses destroyed by a tsunami in Kesen numa city, Miyagi prefecture.
© JIJI PRESS Washed out vehicles are mingled with landslide from the tsunami that followed the earthquake in Wakabayashi ward of Sendai city in Miyagi prefecture.