A short extract of a post that features in my book about the Great East Japan Earthquake, The Teas That Bind:
Even in a normal year, a lot of news can happen in 10 days. Unfortunately for someone with intermittent internet connection, 2011 has been far from a normal year, so the last 10 days have seen almost too many events to process. The US debt deal was cobbled together at the 11th hour, a flat-out Mubarak went on trial in Egypt and things took a further turn for the worst in the Horn of Africa as sensitivity-deficient columnist Liz Jones was sent to cover the disaster by the Daily Mail.
With the attention being constantly prodded in the manner of a TV remote control button by a bored viewer – Libya! America! Syria! Greece! Egypt! Britain! Somalia! – one country which doesn’t like to shout too loud might have slipped from your field of vision. Yet help is still needed for those living in Japan’s 2,559 evacuation centres as the five-month anniversary of the earthquake approaches. That their lives have been altered forever is beyond doubt, but how to make a new start remains unclear when the basics are lacking. Temporary housing is slowly being built, but water supplies are contaminated and the economic future of many small towns is uncertain.