Portland volunteer recalls tsunami relief effort

Credit: AP Images

In this video image taken from NTV Japan via APTN, smoke raises from Fukushima Daiichi power plant's Unit 1 in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, Saturday, March 12, 2011. The walls of a building at the nuclear power station crumbled Saturday as smoke poured out, and Japanese officials said they feared the reactor could melt down following the failure of its cooling system in a powerful earthquake and tsunami.


by KGW Staff

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Posted on March 9, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 9 at 1:21 PM

PORTLAND -- People all over the world Sunday will mark the anniversary of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan.

Photos: Japan quake, tsunami aftermath

Thousands of people were killed and the devastation was so extensive that victims are still living in evacuation shelters one year later.

One volunteer for Portland-based Mercy Corps International just returned from Japan, where she says many people still have no heat and many more are struggling to find work.

Related: Tsunami causes evacuations, damage at Oregon coast

“They have cleared a lot of the debris, but a lot of it still remains,” said volunteer Sylvia Ross. “And there’s still no solid approach on how they’re going to rebuild. And even for a country like Japan—which is a wealthy country—the destruction was just so incredible, that they too need help.”

Mercy Corps is now focused on rebuilding the economy. The group has raised more than $14 million for the recovery effort.

More: From Oregon with Love 2012 benefits relief effort