Manaaki shown to Kumamoto earthquake families

By Talisa Kupenga
  • North Island: East Coast

Food and emergency accommodation in Japan is scarce following three major earthquakes and countless tremors since Thursday. But help knows no boundaries for a Tolaga Bay woman, who drove nearly 15 hours with her partner to lend a hand to those in need in Kumamoto.

Volunteer Sarah McCann says those affected have had to find alternative accommodation, “This is the big complex that these people aren't allowed back in. So all of these cars, people are actually living in.”

A helping hand for families in quake-stricken Kumamoto evacuated from their homes and without accommodation.

"There's still quite a lot of unrest, people are still really unsettled. The evacuation centres can't take everybody at the moment so they've got the elderly people and kids," says McCann.

Sarah and Enson provided supplies to more than 500 people during their day-trip. The couple lives near Tokyo, some 1200kms away.

"I know there is some frustration, especially from those people in the parking lots because the government isn't doing enough to help right now. A lot of them are kind of in desperation mode, they don't have access to things like water or simple food.”

Food shelves in shops were bare within a 100kms radius of Kumamoto, with uncertainty if they would be restocked again soon.

"We're at the 7-11 at the moment and a lot of them have signs like this. So you're only allowed to take two drinks per person. So we're in line here, we've got a water and they also have a system here where they're only letting in a certain amount of people," says McCann.

The pair is en-route home now, a little exhausted but happy to have helped.  The couple plans to return to Kumamoto sometime in June.

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