Two years after the Fukushima catastrophe, one of the most devastating disasters in recent history, thousands are still affected; both humans and animals. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake was so powerful, it shifted the position of the Earth’s figure axis by as much as 6 inches and moved Honshu, Japan’s main island, 8 feet eastward. Over 300,000 buildings were destroyed and millions damaged, including four reactors at a nuclear power plant. Experts involved in cleaning up the sites say that it may take 30 to 40 years to clean up the plant. Fear of radiation looms over surrounding areas with levels that are fatally high around the damaged reactors.
Among those still affected by the disaster are the animals. More than a thousand cats and dogs continue to languish in shelters unable to go home to their families, and companion animals are still being rescued from many restricted areas. In advance of the second anniversary of the March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, American Humane Association is releasing an Impact Report Update on the ongoing need and the intervention efforts for the animals and families affected by the unprecedented event.
“As of January 31 of 2013, the area shelter at Fukushima is housing 994 animals from the disaster scene with a further 325 at the Miharu shelter,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. “These animals are still waiting to be reunited with their families or find a new forever home, and we must help those who are helping them and other animals who are still being rescued from the nuclear zone. To assist, we are providing an additional $130,000 in grants to agencies working on the ground. In addition, we have provided critical – and we hope lifesaving – information that may help entire communities prepare for, react to, and cope with future similar disasters. In this way we may not only provide comfort and aid to those now in need, but better prepare for and perhaps lessen the impact of such situations going forward.”
American Humane Association continues to accept donations for the care of these unfortunate victims of Fukushima. www.americanhumane.org/fukushima .