Israeli medical team leaves for Japan

Delegation will also deliver supplies to thousands of displaced residents; situation at damaged nuclear power plant remains precarious.

Rabbi Binyamin Edrey in Japan 520 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Rabbi Binyamin Edrey in Japan 520
(photo credit: Courtesy)
While the situation at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima continues to be uncertain, Israel on Saturday night sent a delegation consisting of 50 medical staff and 18 tons of aid to earthquake and tsunami-battered Japan.
“Israel is among the first countries to send medical aid,” the government said in a press release. “Up until now, several countries have sent search and rescue teams, but not medical teams.
RELATED:Jewish, Israeli groups offer aid to Japan after quakeIsraeli search and rescue team leaves for Japan
“The Home Front’s medical staff will set up in Kurihara in Miyagi prefecture, some six hours from Tokyo where the tsunami hit hardest. The idea is to set up a field hospital to take care of the wounded and the refugees concentrated in the region.”
The Israeli delegation will deliver 10,000 coats, 6,000 blankets and thousands of pairs of gloves to the hundreds of thousands of displaced residents of northeastern Japan who have been afflicted by the disaster that struck two weeks ago.
The proposed site of the Israeli delegation’s base at Kurihara is about 120 kilometers north of the badly damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima, which continues to spew radioactive material with no end in sight.
Over the weekend, radiation was found in Tokyo’s tap water above the recommended limit for toddlers although still below those for adults, causing a consumer rush on bottled water.
“Up on till now it has been fine, just everyone is making an effort to be informed,” Efrat Edery, the wife of Rabbi Binyamin Edery, who runs one of two Chabad houses in Tokyo, wrote in an e-mail.
Edery, the mother of six, has chosen to stay in Japan with her family during the nation’s time of need.
“Anyway we have been drinking bottled water from the beginning, so it is ok. Yes, it is hard to get bottled water but you need to work a little hard, make some calls, until we find.
The kids are drinking only bottled water, although some Tokyo people are giving tap water to their older children as they say it is only dangerous for babies, but better we don’t take chances.”