Iwaki IL Center evacuates to Tokyo (19 March)
(20 March 2011)
On 19 March, 33 persons including 8 persons with disabilities and 14 family members of Iwaki Independent Living Center evacuated to Toyama-Sunrise (National Welfare Center for Persons with Disabilities) in Shinjuku, Tokyo. 3 of 8 PWDs require personal assistant care.
The group left Iwaki city, Fukushima Prefecture, around noon by 6 vans and it took more than 5 hours to reach Toyama Sunrise. Though they were quite exhausted to survive one week after the earthquake, they all arrived safely.
Upon arrival, the Relief HQ provided meals. They were also welcomed by ALS Association which happened to have a meeting next door and Toyama Sunrise with onigiri (rice balls) and miso soup.
According to Hasegawa and Ono of Iwaki IL Center, residents of Iwaki-city already started to leave the city due to the fear for nuclear plants. While Iwaki-city is becoming ghost town, there still remain not a few persons with disabilities in the city. There are various reasons to stay there: some seem to have less fear for nuclear plants, some are afraid of survival in different places due to their severe disabilities. And to support such persons who choose to stay, their personal assistants also stay in the city.
They also reported individual cases. A person with a cervical injury who was cared by family members lets only family members evacuate and stays alone on the bed. A person with ALS who is also cared by family members decides to stay altogether not to break the family....
Hasegawa will return to Iwaki city on 22 March and try to bring them to Toyama Sunrise. HQ assumes such displaced persons who require personal assistant care remain a lot in affected areas and it is required to rescue and support them immediately.