Queues of several kilometres long have been reported, as petrol runs short in the areas of Japan hit by last week’s earthquake and tsunami. Conditions are hard in Sendai but anyone who wants to follow official advice and leave will find it hard. As well as the lack of petrol, there is no public transport out of the city. The British embassy has laid on coaches to take people as far as Tokyo.
In some places, getting fuel is the main concern. In others, like here in Takahagi City, the worry is water. The Japanese government has mobilised 100,000 extra troops to deliver supplies to stricken areas like this.
Food shortages are also common, even in areas that were not damaged in last Friday’s double disaster. Problems with transport and access mean many people are stocking up on basics like bread and rice and the shelves are emptied as soon as they are filled.
Miyako Elementary School is home to more than 500 evacuees – more than half of them over 70. It is warmer than out in the open, but even so, many are getting sick. A total of 450 thousand people are thought to be homeless. Many are asking why their government has not done more to help them.