Tzu Chi has sent 10 tons of relief goods to two cities in northeast Japan that were devastated by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11. Volunteers will distribute the goods in person to the residents on Friday, March 25.
A relief team from the foundation's global headquarters brought the goods on Wednesday (March 23) to Ofunato and Rikuzentaka in Iwate prefecture. A city of 42,000 people on the coast, Ofunato was almost completely destroyed by the quake and tsunami, whose waves reached more than 20 metres and continued inland for nearly two miles. Initial estimates show more than 25 per cent of the buildings, including 3,500 houses, destroyed and more than 200 people dead. Rikunzentakata was similarly devastated, with few of its buildings left standing.
The team brought blankets, shawls, undershirts, instant rice and nuts; they met volunteers in Japan to prepare for the distribution of the items in 573 boxes to the residents of the two cities. They will carry out the operation today, March 25, delivering the goods together with the love and concern of Tzu Chi volunteers around the world. People in 37 countries across five continents are participating in the foundation's global fund-raising campaign.
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