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In Full Swing
Got a fun update from Michael overnight! Check it out . . . .
"Nate Farnsworth, my translator from Utah made it to Meysen late last night. He brought with him potassium iodide, radiation badges and a radiation detector. Radiation levels are between 6 and twenty micro rads per hour in Sendai, hovering most of the time around 9 or 10. As far as I understand this is a safe reading and one online article had a normal San Diego reading around 15-17. To me what this means is that there is absolutely no real radiation threat in Sendai at this time.
Nate also brought me some incredible, warm, thick socks and wonderful Keen boots which were greatly appreciated- my ankle socks and low tops weren't cutting it.
One of our contacts yesterday informed us of an Island called Miyoto, which is now inhabited by 500 people.
There was one connecting bridge that was wiped out by the Tsumani and one single fishing boat goes to and from the island each day now. This boat is not particularly large, and there is no real way to get supplies to and from the island this way.
We learned that while the Japanese Defense Forces (their army) have delivered water and rice by helicopter - they do not have the proper pots to cook it, nor do they have any clean clothing to wear and do not have basic hygiene supplies.
After giving Nate my back up iPhone 4 and a crash course on GPS tagging, I sent him to take my place with Samuel, one of the Meysen teachers who lead a team of volunteers and a huge truck load of supplies to the 4 locations we tagged yesterday. They delivered to each of these locations and then found a few more new locations that were tagged by Nate.
(btw-Toby, my operator in Atlanta, is constructing a database and real time map of these locations.)
I had given some snacks to Nate for lunch, a zone bar and some cashews and he said that when tagging, a man came running up to him and asked him for it because he was starving. Nate of course obliged.
One of the other Meysen brothers, Thomas, loaded up another huge truck and left around 4am making deliveries up and down the coast.
I worked with Jacob again today, we focused on a town called Yamoto, which while it was hurt pretty bad, had plenty of security forces there and plenty of supplies. I'm pretty sure that the consensus with our group is to focus on the people who are slipping through the cracks, like those on the island.
Jacob was able to track down the mayor of the area and ask him about the island and those on it. Long story short, no other aid has gone out there and they are very reluctant to let anyone out there.
Somehow Jacob was able to convince him to give us a list of their needs. The mayor is able to radio the island, get the list and give it to us. (all of this was done over the phone while we are scouting Yamoto- amazing how much work you can get done over the phone).
Amazingly the Meysen team is able to track down or locate most of the needed supplies of this list AND pack it onto a truck as soon as we tell them what was needed. (Some of these items, like rubber boots and thermal underwear were unusual requests, but Nathan, another Meysen brother/leader was able to track them down.)
My job was to go with Jacob to the island and GPS tag the school there which the Japanese Security Forces used for a landing pad or find another useable helicopter drop zone.
Knowing that the military uses a grid based system for GPS, my uncle Jay did some research and found an app that could tag in this format (Motion X), which I was able to download before leaving.
Unfortunately, the waves were too choppy to go out today, but the mayor has arranged for us to go out tomorrow at 1030am. It's a half hour boat ride each way.
We will go out, assess, tag the drop zone and then put in a request with the US military through Samaritans Purse. It's a long shot, but if we set it up so only 2 dots need to be connected, it's a win-win for everyone. I just hope the military can come through!
Having Nate here is awesome. Now that we have 2 people who can tag, he was able to fill in for me and I could work with Jacob to focus on this island. Hopefully we will be able to do twice as much tagging in the future.
Meysen also sent a truck down last night to pick up the 500lbs of MREs the UK SAR team gave me from the airport. Looks like we will be using it to eat in the field starting tomorrow night.
I really hope we can make good things happen for the island of Miyoto."