For the past 10 days I've been working with msnbc.com's Jim Seida and Miranda Leitsinger who are reporting from Japan on that country's recovery from the March tsunami. I start my days around 4:30 a.m. so I can chat with the team as they finish up their day of producing stories, transmitting files and dropping into bed for a few hours of sleep before starting the process all over again.
Jim Seida / msnbc.com
Parked by a ten-meter high wave, a car sits on the roof of a three story apartment building in Minamisanriku, Japan, Tuesday, June 14, 2011.
If I can't be in the field, being "catcher" back in the office is the next best thing. I live vicariously through the highs and lows of the reporting process, hearing the changes via instant messenger and Skype. But my favorite part is hearing the wonder, like this morning when Seida said "Did you see that picture of the car? Did you see where it was?" Even though we've seen thousands of images from the aftermath of the tsunami, obviously nothing can compare to seeing it yourself. Take your own tour of town by watching the video below and hear a resident describes the economic toll of the disaster.
Take a tour of Minamisanriku with resident Takashi Watanabe. See the cleanup effort and hear about the ongoing impact on the local economy.
In WorldBlog today, Leitsinger reports: Nearly 60 percent of Minamisanriku’s homes (3,300 of 5,632) are gone. The land has sunk 2½ feet in places, and some 9 square kilometers (a little less than 3½ square miles) are now underwater at high tide.
The death toll is about 500, with 400 other missing and presumed dead. Some 4,700 of the 17,666 residents are living in shelters -- either inside the town or elsewhere. The government is rushing to build temporary housing to accommodate the displaced. It has completed 1,224 units so far and hopes to have 2,200 done by early August. But with so much debris piled up and the sunken parts of the town unusable, there is not a lot of space left for rebuilding.
See more images and read the entire story.