Thursday, March 17, 2011

#Japan #Earthquake: More on "Government That Kills" - 29 People Have Died Due to Lack of Food, Heat, Medical Care

After surviving the worst natural disaster in the nation's history, people have started to die because of the government who cannot even deliver the food and water to the officially designated shelters and are too timid or too bureaucratic to ask for help that matters.

And to read some of the comments from officials and directors of the hospitals will make your blood boil. Sticklers for rules, and too timid and afraid (or quite possibly, ignorant) of steps that they could take but for which they would have to cut some bureaucratic red tape.

Information from Yomiuri Shinbun (in Japanese, emphasis added; 2:15AM JST 3/18/2011), with my comments in []:

The Emergency Response Committee of Fukushima Prefecture announced that total 19 people died between March 14 and 16. They were evacuated from hospitals within 20-kilometer radius of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant to the shelter in Iwaki City. 2 of them died on the way to the shelter, and 19 died at the shelter.

[Iwaki City is 51.5 kilometers, or 32 miles away from the Nuke Plant, and it would take 1 hour by car IF THE ROAD IS THERE and in GOOD CONDITION. How long did it take to get to Iwaki??]

According to the Committee, they were elderly patients from two hospitals in the evacuation area (in Ookuma-cho), and they were not ambulatory. They were put on a bus and transported to the shelters in Iwaki City including a high school gym. Two patients died on the bus, and 19 patients died after they reached the shelter. Doctors sent by the Prefecture government treated the gravely ill at the shelters, but due to lack of medical supplies and facilities they couldn't do much.

[Okuma-cho is about 11 kilometers (7 miles) from the Nuke Plant. It is still 30 miles to Iwaki City. And the government officials put them on a bus??? And where did they take these gravely ill elderly patients? A high school gym. Are they trying to tell me that there are no hospitals left standing in Iwaki City? Or is it because they, the government officials, have to bring "evacuees" to an "emergency shelter" - schools, gyms - because that's the rule?]

In a hospital in Tagajo City in Miyagi Prefecture, 7 patients died by March 17 evening, mostly 80 to 90 years old, gravely ill patients. The hospital's first floor was flooded with tsunami, and there is no water or electricity. The hospital director says "the possibility of the shock from the earthquake and cold (as there is no heating in the hospital) contributing to these deaths is probably not zero."

[His words, literal translation: "probably not zero", while fully aware that it was almost all of it. It is a euphemism that the Japanese often use, I'm fully aware of that. But it is a euphemism that too often used by people in power positions - politicians, directors, CEOs - to diminish the gravity of the situation and evade any personal responsibility.]


The Self Defense Force has helicopters that can transport gravely ill patients. Did they ask?

My guess is they never did. The reason they never did, again my guess, is that they knew that the request had to travel the formal chain of bureaucracy, and they knew (as they do this all the time in their line of work) that the request would take a very long time to reach to the top. Yes, to the top or near the top, because the Prime Minister of Japan has asserted his authority to be in charge of everything related to the earthquake/tsunami disaster.

Even if they asked, I doubt that the SDF's bureaucrats would have done anything without the order from their boss, the Defense Minister or his boss, Prime Minister.

So they put them on a bus in Fukushima, sent them off to a airy, draughty high school gym with little heat, little medical equipment or facilities, and hoped for the best, at best. At worst, they just didn't care as long as they followed orders to evacuate people.

Or they just left them there in a hospital with no water and no electricity, and comment after the deaths that the cold may have something to do with it, maybe.

So many more will die. Now that the foreign rescue workers may start to leave the country because of the worries over nuclear radiation, the Japanese people are on their own to survive, and that survival is threatened by their own government.


Post a Comment