Når katastrofen indtræffer: Hvordan finder man forsvundne personer?
HOW TO: Trace missing persons - ICRC tracing efforts date back to first and second world wars
BANGKOK, 16 March 2011 (IRIN) - Tsunamis, earthquakes, and violent conflicts leave in their wake (spor) chaos and unpredictability.
In these and other situations, hasty evacuations, rushed hospitalizations, and sudden deaths separate children from their parents, leaving many missing while others wait anxiously for news. In such situations, tracing - tracking down missing relatives - is vital for family reunification.
Japan’s 11 March triple disaster - a 9.0 degree earthquake followed by a tsunami and radiation leaks - presents the latest challenge for tracing.
The Japanese government has deployed 100.000 troops – 20.000 of whom are still blocked – to lead relief efforts. With the help of 9.500 fire-fighters and 920 police, 22.184 people have been rescued as of 15 March.
But state media reports at least 15.000 thousand more remain missing as relief workers - including more than 800 urban search and rescue workers from 15 countries - are blocked by continuous aftershocks (290 recorded as of 16 March), tsunami alerts, a growing nuclear radiation exclusion zone, a still impenetrable (ufremkommelig) coastline and fires.
UK-based NGO Save the Children estimates up to 100.000 children have been displaced.
Against this multiple-disaster backdrop, IRIN asked experts about current best practice on how to reunite families - in Japan and elsewhere.
The first phase is to find separated children, register them at the national Red Cross society, and place them in temporary families while following up on leads to the location of parents, according to Corinna Chasky, child protection adviser at Save the Children.
The National Police Agency has established special call centres, through which guidance and support are provided to find missing family members.
The Nippon Telephone and Telegraph company has started an emergency message service where people can dial and leave messages.
Communities can be alerted to look out for missing children through radio or newspapers.
- Use information and clues from the child’s memories. Flyers, posters (plakater), and word of mouth spread messages through the local community and police networks where communication systems have broken down from the disaster, said Chasky.
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