Dear friends, and anyone listening, my family and I need your help!
As you may know, on April 14th my hometown of Kumamoto, Japan, was hit by a high level 6.5 magnitude earthquake.
If that wasn't bad enough, on the following day of April 16th we were hit with an even bigger, more devastating 7.3 magnitude earthquake.
In the following two weeks since the quakes Kumamoto, Japan, has been stricken with a record breaking 1,000+ aftershocks and quakes. That's right, over 1,000 earthquakes in just two weeks! As you can imagine, it has been quite stressful.
After the initial level 7.3 quake, my family was forced to evacuate our home. My wife, two kids (my son only 1 years old and in diapers), along with my wife's parents (grandma and grandpa), and our two dogs were forced to live out of our car for a full week before our house was finally inspected.
The city inspectors are handing out colored stickers marking the threat level of the damage to every home in the city. Green means your house is safe and you can move back in. Yellow means your house is severly damaged but structurally sound and will need major repairs. It's also limited entry -- which basically means "enter at your own risk." Red means your house is unsafe and structurally unsound and you need to be relocated to a shelter.
We received a yellow warning -- enter at your own risk.
Our home is approximately 6km from the epicenter in Mashiki town of Kumamoto. That's about ten city blocks. So our house was pretty battered. Everything is busted up. Broken. And since our house wasn't crippled, our insurance won't cover any of the damages.
Like most families who are picking up the pieces and trying to put their lives back together after the quakes, we too need some relief effort.
Here is a brief summary of the damages we incurred:
Our water boiler bit the big one. We haven't had hot water in two weeks. You often take the small things for granted, and after spending 5 days living out of a car, the first thing you want is a hot bath.
A portion of our roof tiles fell off the roof, and now we're using a blue tarp to keep the rain out of our house.
We lost the east facing glass windows to our house. The neighbor's cat keeps coming into our house because -- hey -- new hole to explore. Also, there's a terrible draft and we need to replace two of our shattered large day windows.
Every wall inside the house needs to be replaced due to the amount of damage done to the dry wall. There is house lean, and the wall has detached from the floor in a couple of places.
Although our walls broke mainly along the seems, because our walls are covered with wallpaper (not paint) the wallpaper has been shredded and so the whole thing must come down and be replaced. We just need to be able to afford labor and materials for replacing the bulk of our home's walls.
90% of our dishes were smashed in the quake and need replacing. Most of our glassware and ceramics -- bowls, plates, and cups, and anything else breakable -- broke. It's not a huge priority. We still have a few dishes that survived, but it's still a cost that chips away at our repair budget.
Family portraits lost glass from the frames when they crashed down from the walls, meaning we'll need to replace all of those too. Even though a simple glass frame from the dollar store will suffice, it's the accumulation of all the little repair fees that quickly add up and take their toll on our budget.
Many other small and annoying items need replacing. We lost our toaster oven. Our automatic water heater / tea kettle was broken. The clocks from our walls including a very nice coocoo clock shattered into shards and is beyond repair.
Many of our doorways in the house have shifted due to wall lean, and the doors need to be sanded down so they can open and close without getting stuck. (A brief update: we rehinged the bathroom door and sanded it down so we can close it and use the bathroom with a modicum of privacy -- the repairs are ongoing.)
And on and on it goes.
Our house isn't earthquake insured, and it didn't sustain enough damage for regular insurance to kick in, meaning we are stuck with the full financial burden of the repairs.
And since it's my wife's family's home, we can't just up and move. Which means we will need to do some major fixing. Which costs money. It's all a bit overwhelming.
As such, it seems we have little in the way of options and like many families, we are currently asking for some financial aid, and a bit of relief in help us put our lives back together.
Any amount you can donate will help us with repairing our home and replacing the items we lost (our water boiler, roof, windows, oven, dishes, lights, etc.). Anything you can give that will help us get hot water and help us get back on our feet would make us so very grateful.
If your own budget is tight, don't worry, simply sharing the link to this gofundme campaigne would be a great help.
As we start the laborous process of making repairs to our home, we would be forever indebted to those of you who, out of the kindness of your generous hearts, can afford to help my family get firmly back on our feet. You can lift us up. Any amount matters.
Thank you so much.
Sincerely and with gratitude,