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東日本大震災翻訳プロジェクト〔第22話〕

  • English
  • 日本語

Clad in a rain-coat

MIDORIKAWA Kazunobu, 56, Newspaper distributor, Onahama, Iwaki city
Translated by YAMAMOTO Michiko

 When I was preparing for insert fliers of next day’s newspaper, I felt a big shake which I had never experienced before. The shake was so big and it continued for a long time, so I escaped to outside in a hurry. Then I saw the road was shaking, and the telephone pole was oscillating. After the shake stopped, I heard the siren of tsunami warning. 

 Residents stared to take refuge. The road in front of my shop was congested with many cars and people immediately, and it was in turmoil. It is about 800m from my office to Onahama Port. I put my wife on the rear seat of a motorcycle. With my staff, we took refuge to a hill for safety. Many people had already gathered there. They were looking at the port anxiously. After we saw the first and second tsunami, we went back to the office. Tsunami didn’t reach our office, so we started to work again.

 At that time the third tsunami was going up the nearby Onagawa River. Muddy water flowed into the office. Somehow we could escape from there. But we spent a restless night at a multistory parking lot in commercial facilities called RESPO.

 On the twelfth morning, a truck with morning newspaper arrived quite earlier than usual. Aftershock had continued, so I thought we should cancel delivery. However, one of staff said “Subscribers are waiting for newspaper, so let’s deliver for them”. We decided to deliver newspapers. I told them to think about safety first, and got them off. Then, a staff who went to the coastal area returned in alarm. He said “Rubbles blocked my way.” I went to the site immediately, and I shuddered at the terrible sight.

 In the afternoon, Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant exploded. We continued to deliver newspaper while wearing a raincoat and a mask in order to fight against fear of radioactivity. Some subscribers said “thank you very much”, but we found out that people were gradually disappearing. I made up my mind to continue delivery as long as our subscribers were there. However, we used all gas at last, and we had to stop delivery.

 Today, Iwaki looks normal. There are people and goods. But many people have been suffering even now. People in coastal areas have lost their houses, fishermen are not able to go fishing even now, and farmers are in trouble for selling agricultural products. I earnestly hope that the nuclear accident will be settled as soon as possible, and Onahama will get back to the active port town.

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