Unable to deploy medical teams, DiCarlo's group is instead raising money for Japanese-run relief efforts. International Medical Corps is seeking waivers that would allow their doctors to care forthe injured, Aguirre said.Groups that are beginning to provide assistance on the ground report overwhelming devastation.Peace Winds Japan, which has a Seattle affiliate, chartered a helicopter to survey the damage atone coastal city but couldn't find any place to land amid the debris.
They just turned around," said Mari Poorman, Seattle-based project officer for Peace WindsAmerica. The Japanese teams planned to deliver tents, food and kerosene to another cityThursday, with shipments routed up Japan's West Coast to avoid the reactor zone.Gas is rationed, and prices are approaching $8 a gallon in places. A single blanket sells for $30.In some evacuation centers, people are sleeping on cardboard and eating one meal a day.
Calamusa was reached by phone in a World Vision convoy en route to the city of Tome, north of Sendai. The cargo includes blankets, diapers and hygiene supplies for 6,000 people. Calamusaadmitted to a bit of unease. "It's what we do
go into these places and help people," he said."But at the same time you cannot put undue risk on your own staff."Experience in the 1995 Kobe earthquake that devastated Seattle's sister city proved useful tosome Northwesterners assisting in relief efforts. While many were scrambling to leave Japan,Kenichi Uchikura, founder of Pacific Software Publishing in Bellevue, flew to Tokyo onMonday to try to help his customers. Company CEO Mayumi Nakamura focused on raisingmoney for Red Cross.Uchikura grew up in Kobe and later saw his parents' home destroyed in that earthquake.The emotional trauma of last Friday's quake makes it even more important for people here toshow support, Nakamura added."They need to hear from us," she said. "The fact that so many people are participating in thefundraising drive really sends a strong message out."Unlike in Kobe, where officials initially rejected outside efforts to help, this time rescue crewsappeared to be getting in quickly, Nakamura said. Nevertheless, "This is a long, long recoverythey have ahead of them."Seattle's Japanese American and Japan-related cultural, educational and civic organizations puttogether a fundraising website
within days of the quake.