Pundit& Pundette - Millions of people spent a third night without water, food or heating in near-freezing temperatures along the devastated northeastern coast where thousands of bodies were reported to have washed ashore. Meanwhile, a third reactor at a nuclear power plant lost its cooling capacity, raising fears of a meltdown, while the stock market plunged over the likelihood of huge losses by Japanese industries including big names such as Toyota and Honda. [. . .]
Friday's double-headed tragedy caused unimaginable deprivation for people of this industrialized country that has not seen such hardships since World War II. In many areas there is no running water, no power and four- to five-hour waits for gasoline. People are suppressing hunger with instant noodles or rice balls while dealing with the loss of loved ones and homes.
"People are surviving on little food and water. Things are simply not coming," said Hajime Sato, a government official in Iwate prefecture, one of the three hardest hit.
"We have repeatedly asked the government to help us, but the government is overwhelmed by the scale of damage and enormous demand for food and water," he told The Associated Press.
"We are only getting around just 10 percent of what we have requested. But we are patient because everyone in the quake-hit areas is suffering."
He said local authorities were also running out of body bags and coffins.
"We have requested funeral homes across the nation to send us many body bags and coffins. But we simply don't have enough. We just did not expect such a thing to happen. It's just overwhelming.