Kamaishi Residents Begin to Cleanup After Earthquake and Tsunami

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It's been two weeks since the deadly earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. Now, on Japan's northeastern coast, residents are starting the clean up to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives that has long since been lost.

Two weeks on from the devastating earthquake and tsunami, Kamaishi residents began to clean up the area as they tried to rebuild their lives.

The tsunami has left 27,000 people are dead or missing, seventy thousand have left their homes.

Amid the suffering, though, there was a sense that Japan was turning the corner in its humanitarian crisis. Aid flowed to refugees, and phone, electricity, postal and bank services began returning to some areas in the north.

However in Kamaishi, power lines still dangle from broken electricity poles and residents have been told that gas supplies are only likely to be restored in around a month and a half to two months.

Owners of small businesses began cleaning up their premises in the worst-hit areas.

[Yuko Sasaki, Fish Store Owner]:
"Well, it feels like nothing has been cleaned up. So the debris from the houses, from the businesses, has all been gathering here."

A few shops down, a family running a coffee shop had cleared out most of the debris.

Their relative, Maro Kariya, a student in Tokyo came to help.

[Maro Kariya, Student]:
"I guess everybody is just trying to get back on their feet. It's not really a situation where everybody knows what's going to happen and what to do next. We're just trying our best to clean everything up and have some sort of life again."

The estimated $300 billion in damage from the quake and tsunami makes this the world's costliest natural disaster.

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