Back to work today. Very busy. Lost two weeks because of the earthquake so there's lots of catching up to do. I wish I could say things were back to normal. They are, kind of. But along with the worry of nuclear fallout, the aftershocks are unsettling. I looked on the Meteorological Agency's website and saw that between midnight and 8pm today there had been 20 shocks. Not all of them you can feel but there was a big one about 10 o'clock last night and two big ones this morning. The TV showed them as only force 3 in Koriyama but they felt stronger. As I say, unsettling.
Our salesman who lives in Iwaki and evacuated with his family to stay with relatives 350 miles away came in today. I heard his story. It took him four hours to get home on the day of the quake, driving along all the back roads trying to find a way in. No one at home so he searched the evacuation centres and finally got reunited with all the members of his family about 10 pm. His house is 500 metres outside the 30 km exclusion zone so they decided to stay in the evacuation centres but they were moved twice in three days and the only water they were given in two days was one 500 ml bottle each. Soup was made once a day but it wasn't regular, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the evening. He decided to leave and go and stay with relatives in Sakai city, Fukui prefecture. The city seems to have acted swiftly and generously. They have been allocated an apartment and moved in a couple of days ago. There are 240 'refugees' from Fukushima in the city. He has no idea yet what will happen to his house and land. It all depends on what happens at the reactor.
He was phoning his customers on the coast. More stories; the tsunami came right up to the front of the shop, etc. When will they be back in business? Not till the water's reconnected. Which will be when? Not till the end of April!
The post and delivery services are back to normal but we are a bit worried about whether we will get all our payments in at the end of the month. We know of two companies that have upped and left the disaster area. The bigger companies will honour their debts but there's uncertainty about some of the smaller ones, especially those that we go to collect from personally. Will they still be there? With other, more pressing, claims on funds, will we get paid? There are already finance schemes in place and no doubt there will be government grants and aid, but these will take time.
On the bright side, Fukushima shiitake have been tested and declared free of radiation, so the mushrooms we pack will go to market. But what price will they fetch? Heard one story of Fukushima cucumbers usually selling for 2,600 yen per box going for 700 yen! Zenno (the agricultural cooperative) will do all they can to test the produce and reassure the public but emotional factors are at work here. The nuclear plant needs to be made safe as soon as possible.
That's all we want, here in Fukushima.
Love to you all