U.S. group repairing Miyagi buildings

Kyodo

A group of 35 Americans has been taking turns visiting Japan to repair buildings in coastal Miyagi Prefecture that were damaged by the March 2011 tsunami.

The volunteers responded to a call by American missionary Calvin Cummings, who is based in the city of Natori near Sendai. They have been aiming to provide long-term support comparable to a civilian version of Operation Tomodachi, the relief mission carried out by the U.S. military.

Since February, the volunteers have repaired a church in Sendai and are working to turn a damaged dental clinic in the town of Yamamoto into a shelter.

Water from the tsunami flooded the ground floor of the building housing the clinic near the JR Joban Line’s Yamashita Station and rendered the medical equipment useless. Various entities, including a Christian group of which Cummings is a member, purchased the facility.

The volunteers have since cleared the building of debris and sludge and set up rooms, including a bathroom.