Dead, Missing, Displaced: #Japanquake's Human Story

Japan's northeastern Tohoku region struggles to take care of 200,000 displaced residents in addition to thousands dead and missing. (Story posted March 28, 2011)


  1. Two weeks after Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami, around 200,000 evacuees remain housed in school gymnasiums and other public buildings. The need for more temporary housing is growing. 
  2. Sparkrelief is helping to arrange temporary housing for some of those displaced in Japan. The site is similar to CouchSurfing, which connects travelers in need of accommodations to local residents who are willing to open their homes.
  3. At evacuee shelters, the Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces are providing food aid and daily necessities, including baths, for the displaced.  
  4. Photos showing daily life in the shelters have been posted on Jonathan Watts' Flickr account. 
  5. This man never let go of his wife's hand in the whole day I was in Minami Sanriku shelter.
  6. Japan's Mainichi Daily News tells the story of a group of citizens who have banded together in an abandoned factory which they are now using as a makeshift evacuation center.
  7. Nearly 11,000 people have been confirmed dead from the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11. More than 17,000 people have been reported missing.
  8. Cremation facilities in Japan cannot keep up with the number of dead and have been forced to bury the deceased in mass graves.
  9. The majority of the dead and missing are from Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures. According to Japanese public broadcaster NHK, 6,097 are confirmed dead in Miyagi, 3,092 in Iwate, and 855 in Fukushima.
  10. The figures are almost certain to rise because of the absence of family members to file reports on the dead and missing. In some areas, entire families appear to have been swept away in the tsunami that followed the magnitude 9.0 earthquake.
  11. Google Japan has posted images of missing person lists to its Picasa account.
  12. Google Japan posts shelter list images to Picasa
    Google Japan posts shelter list images to Picasa