11 Mar '12, 8am

'Nothing really prepared me for what I saw', says Singaporean who was in Japan when earthquake hit

'Nothing really prepared me for what I saw', says Singaporean who was in Japan when earthquake hit

VOLUNTEERING: Mr Lai (in grey shirt) clearing debris from a shop in Kamaishi city, Iwate prefecture, last July. -- PHOTO: LAI YING LOONG By Kwan Weng Kin, Japan Correspondent TOKYO - Singaporean Lai Ying Loong was in Japan's capital when the earthquake and tsunami struck on March 11 last year. 'Although I was in Tokyo, I struggled to find normality in the aftershocks that followed. There is a certain part of the horror that I share with the people of Tohoku. You realise they have to deal with so many challenges just to survive. As a human being, I felt I had to do something for them,' says the 36-year-old, who has been working in Tokyo for several years. Since then, he has been making weekend trips to the affected Tohoku region about once a month, joining other volunteers first in clearing debris and more recently in bringing cheer to survivors. On his first few trips, whe...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/The-Big-Story/The-Big-Story-3...

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