Six Months since the Great East Japan Earthquake: Activity Report
Please Don’t Forget the Disaster Zone – Your Support is Still Needed!
AAR JAPAN has been carrying out relief efforts for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake since the immediate aftermath of the disaster. In addition to delivering emergency supplies to those who have limited access to aid, such as persons with disabilities, the elderly, and survivors living at home, AAR JAPAN is also repairing welfare facilities, providing vehicles, and preparing soup kitchens.
Some survivors continue to live in emergency shelters, while many others have transferred to temporary housing. The move to temporary housing has led to new concerns, such as survivors’ tendency to stay inside because they have few friends or acquaintances in their new neighborhoods. Through the Building Healthy Communities Project, AAR JAPAN has been providing rehabilitation and healthcare services, psychological care, and community interaction and exchange events that enable survivors to reclaim and maintain their physical and mental health.
Half a year has passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake, yet many survivors in the disaster zone still need your support. The further people live from the disaster zone, the more quickly the earthquake and its aftermath slip from their collective memory. AAR JAPAN will continue our efforts on the behalf of the survivors, and we beg your ongoing support.
Below is a report on the activities that AAR JAPAN’s supporters have enabled us to carry out in the last six months:
AAR JAPAN’s Projects in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake
1. Delivering Relief for Families in Temporary Housing and Leased Housing in Fukushima Prefecture (Approximately 35,000 families)
2. Building Healthy Communities Project
3. Delivery of Relief Supplies
4. Soup Kitchens
5. Institutional Reconstruction
6. Providing Vehicles
7. Container Housing Project
8. Hand-made Tote Bag Project
9. Providing Musical Instruments
10. Psychological Care for Children (Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture)
11. “Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone!” Project (Concluded)
12. Shuttle Buses (Concluded June 4th)
13. Support for Food Service at Schools in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture (Concluded)
1. Delivering Relief for Families in Temporary Housing and Leased Housing in Fukushima Prefecture (Approximately 35,000 families)
With a grant from Japan Platform (JPF)* and in cooperation with ADRA Japan, we have been supporting the day-to-day lives of all the families living in temporary housing and leased housing in Fukushima Prefecture. As the Japanese Red Cross has decided to distribute six-piece sets of home electrical appliances in earthquake- and tsunami-affected areas, AAR JAPAN has focused on providing items such as kitchenware, bathroom goods, vacuum cleaners, kotatsu (heated tables) and regular tables, kitchen cabinets, and so on, based on requests from municipal governments.
We are targeting 13 municipalities in the Hamadori and Nakadori regions of Fukushima: Soma City, Minami-Soma City, Shinchi Town, Iitate Village, Tomioka Town, Kawauchi Village, Koriyama City, Sukagawa City, Kagamiishi City, Shirakawa City, Nishigo Village, Yabuki Town, and Izumisaki Village. In order to contribute to the economic recovery of the local communities, we are collaborating with the local Commerce and Industry Associations in 10 municipalities to source as many aid goods locally as possible. As of August 31st, we have completed the delivery of relief supplies to 12,100 households in the target area.
*Japan Platform (JPF) facilitates the cooperation of NGOs, governments, and corporations in conducting emergency assistance for natural disasters, refugees, and internally displaced people. JPF operates with government funding and donations from corporations and individuals.
AAR JAPAN has been providing rehabilitation and health-related services, mobile clinics, sanitation services, psychological care, and community interaction and exchange events for about 3,000 people, focusing on people with disabilities, the elderly, survivors staying in their own homes, and people staying in temporary housing in the affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures. Through these comprehensive efforts, AAR JAPAN continues to support people in the disaster zone as they work to maintain both their physical and mental health.
AAR JAPAN has been providing rehabilitation services by sending occupational therapists and physiotherapists to evacuation centers, senior care facilities, facilities for people with disabilities, temporary housing, and individual homes in Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures, offering rehabilitation visits and massages to 457 people from July 9th to September 3rd.
Mobile Clinics and Health-related Services
AAR JAPAN has visited Makinohama, Takenohama, Kitsunezaki-hama, Sudachi, Fukkiura, Kozumihama, and Kobuchihama on the Oshika Peninsula, where approximately 640 survivors are taking shelter in their homes. Led by Dr. Toshiaki YASUDA, a local medical practitioner, AAR’s medical team has established a mobile clinic and implemented health-related services such as checking up on sufferers of chronic illnesses, preventing the spread of infectious diseases, and implementing psychological support. We examined a total of 772 people between April 9th and August 31st. Home-care nurses visited an additional 242 people in temporary housing in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, between August 10th and August 31st.
AAR JAPAN has implemented sanitation services for approximately 1,000 people in evacuation centers in Ishinomaki City and Minami-Sanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture. As futons, blankets, and mattresses became dirty as a result of long-term use in evacuation centers, we dried them in the sun, collecting old and dirty futons while offering new summer-season bedding. We also engaged in general cleaning in evacuation centers, where summer’s rise in humidity and temperature led to the deterioration of sanitary conditions, including a huge increase in flies and mosquitoes.
We also distributed futon driers, vacuum cleaners, dehumidifiers, cleaning equipment, insect repellent and insecticides (fly tape, mite killer, etc.) with instruction on their use. To reduce the risk of food poisoning, we delivered refrigerators to evacuation centers that lacked them. We implemented these efforts in 25 evacuation centers from June 14th to August 31st.
In order to mitigate stress both from the earthquake and from long-term evacuee life, AAR JAPAN has been sending counselors to evacuation centers, temporary housing units, and individual homes to provide psychological care. We provided counseling for 47 people between August 6th and September 3rd.
Community Interaction and Exchange Events
AAR JAPAN has been actively promoting community interaction and exchange events to help promote the development of social ties in evacuation shelters and temporary housing. In this effort, we have been organizing soup kitchens, delivering relief supplies, and providing rehabilitation services such as massages and aroma therapy. To date, we have organized or participated in the following community events:
- Participated in a festival at Wako Kindergarten in Shichi-ga-hama Town, Miyagi Prefecture (July 23rd).
- Participated in the Bon Festival in Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture (August 15th).
- Organized a soup kitchen and a community interaction and exchange event at an evacuation shelter in Higashi-hama Elementary School on the Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture (August 18th).
- Organized a soup kitchen, massage services, and a community interaction and exchange event in Touni Town, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture (August 20th).
- Organized a soup kitchen, massage services, and a watermelon-splitting game (a traditional summer event) in Otomo Town, Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture (August 20th).
- Organized a relaxation event with aromatic therapists at Higashi-hama Elementary School in Miyagi Prefecture (August 23rd).
3. Delivery of Relief Supplies to Affected Areas from March 14th to September 8th
978 locations totaling an estimated 73,244 people
Miyagi Prefecture: Sendai City, Ishinomaki City, Kesen-numa City, Natori City, Tome City, Higashi-Matsushima City, Onagawa Town, Tagajo City, Iwanuma City, Minami-Sanriku Town, Yamamoto Town, Shiogama City
Iwate Prefecture: Otsuchi Town, Ofunato City, Rikuzen-takata City, Kamaishi City, Yamada Town
Fukushima Prefecture: Soma City, Minami-Soma City
Yamagata Prefecture: Kamiyama City
Evacuation shelters, facilities for persons with disabilities, facilities for the elderly, social welfare councils, foster homes, shopping centers, social welfare corporations, volunteer centers, ambulatory facilities for the elderly, disaster countermeasures offices, temporary housing, evacuees’ homes, day-care centers, kindergartens, elementary schools, junior high schools, senior high schools, and others.
Relief Supplies Delivered
Diesel oil (13,600 liters), Kerosene (4,400 liters), Gasoline (2,060 liters), Water (14 tons), Rice (2.5 tons), Milk (480 packs), Sweet-bean cakes (41,000 units), Vegetables (Potatoes: about 627 kg, carrots: about 515 kg, onions: about 1,213 kg, spinach: about 348 units, cabbage: 786 units, Chinese radishes: 345 units, leeks: about 170 kg, bell peppers: about 4 kg, tomatoes: about 421 bags; also cucumbers, lettuce, chives, eggplants, kidney beans, ”edamame” beans, pumpkins, burdock roots, taro, sweet potatoes, Chinese cabbage, corn, Japanese mustard spinach, dried shiitake and others), Fruit (Mandarin oranges, bananas, small watermelons: about 568 units, grapefruit, melons, and others), Eggs (124 packs), Other food (Retort foods, food for the elderly, canned food, miso, soy sauce, dietary supplements, etc.), Blankets, Bedclothes, Underwear, Clothes and scarves, Towels and hand cloths, “Furoshiki” wrapping cloths, Face masks (73,280 units), Hand warmers (5,000 units), Sleeping bags (3,400 units), Cold medicine and other medical supplies, Toothbrushes (10,000 units), Paper diapers, Adult diapers, Women’s sanitary products, Batteries, Baby products (Baby food, pacifiers, feeding bottles, baby wipes, etc.), High-pressure washers (32 units), Chainsaws (30 units), Shovels (12 units), Boots (100 pairs), Books and picture books (20 boxes), Crayons (300 sets), Cell phone chargers (120 units), Computers (39 units), Computer desks (3 units), Printers (2 units), Bicycles (284 units), Carts (10 units), Carriage(1 unit), Washing machines (18 units), Dryers (26 units), Refrigerators (25 units), Telephones (6 units), Televisions (14 units), CD players (10 units), Portable radios (10 units), Phlegm suction devices (2 units), Care beds (23 units), Rollaway beds (2 units), Beds (1 unit), Wheelchairs (8 units), Care chairs (8 units), Walkers (48 units), Walking sticks (71 units), Power generators (3 unit), Knives (20 units), Cutting boards (20 units), Small shelving units (13 units), Book shelves (1 unit), Clothing cases (6 units), Disinfectant spray (500 units), Hand soap (168 units), Reading glasses (100 units), Stuffed toys, Irons and ironing boards (60 units each), Electric fans (103 units), Vacuum cleaners (57 units), Rice cookers (11 units), Dish driers (2 unit), Futon dehumidifiers (34 units), Dehumidifiers (40 units), Microwave ovens (9units), Thermos (13 units), Digital cameras (6 units), DVD players (1 unit), Video cameras (1 unit), Reflective heaters (6 units), Automated blood pressure meters (38 units), Scales (30 units), Rotary duplicators (2 units), Futon sets (139 units), Mattresses (50 units), Sheets (35 units), Cotton blankets (183 units), Insecticide, insect-repellant spray, fly tape, mosquito coils, mosquito nets, etc. 12-roll sets of toilet paper (15 bags), Laundry detergent, Dishwashing detergent, Toilet-bowl cleaner, Washing baskets (50 units), Hangers (30 units), Cleaning buckets (50 units), Paper plates (1,000 units), Notebooks (40 units), Copy paper (500 sheets), Tinfoil and cling wrap (60 units each), Grass cutters (10 units), Lawn mowers (1 unit), Cucumber seedlings (74 units), Tomato seedlings (82 units), Flower seedlings (10 units), Screen windows (14 units), Laundry poles, Summer clothing, Boots, sandals, Slippers, Ice packs (35 units), neck coolers (5,000 units), Play pools, Nutritional supplements (2,000 bags), Umbrellas (4 units), Nagoya harps (3 units), Electric pianos (1 unit), Pianos (2 units), Keyboards (1 unit), Taiko drums (4 units), Tea paraphernalia, Musical instruments, Sewing machines, and others.
In coordination with Ingram Co., Ltd., which is responsible for the Peace Project, AAR JAPAN has been organizing soup kitchens in Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures. From March 31st to August 28th, we prepared soup kitchens in the following locations:
Soup Kitchen Locations (Estimated 21,891 meals served in 61 locations)
Miyagi Prefecture: Watanoha, Aikawa, Kitakami, and Ayukawa areas (Oshika Peninsula) in Ishinomaki City; Wakabayashi District in Sendai City; Tagajo City; Shizugawa and Utatsu in Minami-Sanriku Town; Niitsuki, Shishiori, and Omose areas in Kesen-numa CityIwate Prefecture: Kamaishi City, Rikuzen-takata City, Taro Town in Miyako City, Yamada Town
Fukushima Prefecture: Hara Town in Minami-Soma City
Soup Kitchen Menu
Tokushima ramen, Oden, Beef stew, Yakisoba (Fried noodles), Fried chicken, Vegetable sticks, Chukadon (Chinese-style stir-fried meat and vegetables on rice), Beef steak, Onion soup, Tuna sashimi on rice, Chanko-nabe (hot pot), Apple pie, Onion sauté, Minestrone, Ground chicken with egg and vegetables on rice, Fish miso soup, Hijiki seaweed mix, Fried sweet potato, Cabbage rolls, Mixed bean-curd lees and vegetables, Autumn rice, Pork miso soup, Stewed fish, Cabbage and spinach side dishes, Somen noodles, Minced fish soup, Hand-made sweet potato pies, Hand-made langue du chats, Samgyetang (Korean chicken ginseng soup), Yakitori (grilled chicken), Miso soup with tofu and shimeji mushrooms, Stewed meat and potatoes, Boiled komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), Pasta with meat sauce, Potato salad, Miso soup with Chinese cabbage and shiitake mushrooms, Boiled field mustard, Inarizushi (fried tofu stuffed with vinegared rice), Cooked radish and minced meat, Kashiwa mochi (rice cake wrapped in oak leaf), Fried whitefish, Miso soup with radish, Root salad, Fruit Jell-O, Udon noodles, Almond Jell-O, Stir-fried meat with vegetables, Gyoza (Chinese dumplings), Borscht, Miso soup with clams, Marinated octopus, Miso soup with cabbage and Japanese mustard spinach, Squid with wasabi, Seafood curry and rice (with scallops, clams and shrimp), Japanese sweets and amazake (sweet mild sake), Charcoal-broiled fish, Kakigori (shaved ice with flavored syrup), Grilled corn, Kitsune udon, Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes), Japanese dace, Daikon-oroshi (grated Japanese radish), Pickled vegetables, Unaju (grilled eel on rice), Vegetables pickled in sake lees, Miso soup with wakame seaweed and green onion, Rice-fed pork from Sumida Town grilled with local vegetables on rice, etc.
In coordination with local construction companies, AAR JAPAN has been repairing senior care facilities and facilities for persons with disabilities in 60 locations in order to accelerate resumption of services. From April 21st to September 6th, we repaired the following facilities:
- Minori-kai Rubert Social Welfare Corporation
(Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Shinwa-kai Clovers Pier Wasse Social Welfare Corporation
(Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Himawari Senshin-Kai Yume-no-mori Workshop Social Welfare Corporation
(Kesen-numa City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Yamoto-aiiku-kai Gin-no-hoshi Social Welfare Corporation
(Higashi-Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Kurihara-shuho-kai Social Welfare Corporation
(Kurihara City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Fureai-no-mori Social Welfare Corporation
- Yoko Fukushi-kai Echo Ryouiku-en Social Welfare Corporation
- Coconet Autism Peering Center
(NPO, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Seiwa-kai Miyama-sou Special Nursing Home
(Social Welfare Corporation, Yamamoto Town, Watari County, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Aisen-kai Kamuri Gakuen Social Welfare Corporation
- Hoshin-kai Omatsu-Gakuen Social Welfare Corporation
(Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Kamikuri-sou Kamaishi Kyosei-kai Group Home
(NPO, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Yoshihama-sou Aisei-kai Facility for Persons with Disabilities
(Social Welfare Corporation, Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Kojuen Special Elderly Nursing Home
(Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Kourin-kai Lumbini-en Social Welfare Corporation
(Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Sansan-kai Asunaro Home Social Welfare Corporation
- Yamada Kyosei-kai Yamada Kyosei Workshop Social Welfare Corporation
(Yamada Town, Shimohei County, Iwate Prefecture)
- Taiyou-kai Jiai Fukushi Gakuen Social Welfare Corporation
(Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Taiyou-kai Social Welfare Corporation
- Taiyou-kai Aomatsu-kan Social Welfare Corporation
- Matsubara Home Social Welfare Corporation’s Aiiku-kai Machikado Counseling Room
- Shouyu Kamaishi Work Station Social Welfare Corporation
Miyagi Prefecture: 37 locations (14 in Sendai City, 2 in Shiraishi City, 4 in Kesen-numa City, 1 in Tome City, 1 in Higashi-Matsushima City, 4 in Natori City, 1 in Kurihara City, 2 in Ishinomaki City, 1 in Shiogama City, 2 in Yamamoto Town, 2 in Minami-Sanriku Town, 1 in Zao Town, 1 in Marumori Town, 1 in Shibata Town)
Iwate Prefecture: 23 locations (4 in Ofunato City, 5 in Rikuzen-takata City, 6 in Kamaishi City, 1 in Hanamaki City, 2 in Otsuchi Town, 2 in Yamada Town, 1 in Miyako City, 2 in Tanohata Village)
AAR JAPAN will continue reconstruction of facilities for persons with disabilities and senior care facilities in the affected areas of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures in coordination with each prefecture’s welfare division, social welfare council, and other related organizations. AAR JAPAN’s reconstruction efforts have been made possible through the cooperation of our supporters and a grant from Japan Platform (JPF).
AAR JAPAN has been providing vehicles as a vital means of transportation for people who use welfare facilities. We have provided the following vehicles to 7 facilities:
- 1 van - Senshin-kai Nozomi Welfare Workshop Social Welfare Cooperation
(Minami-Sanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture)
- 1 mini-vehicle – Hak’s House
(NPO, Iwate Prefecture)
- 1 pickup van – Ishinomaki Shoshin-kai Kujira-no-shippo Service Facility for Persons with Disabilities
(Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- 1 mini-vehicle – Kick-off Career and Life Support Center for Persons with Disabilities
- 1 van – Work House Atelie
(Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture)
- 1 elderly-care taxi – Yamazaki taxi
- 1 compact car – Hikami-no-sono
This project has been carried out in cooperation with Accenture Co., Ltd., the Tokyo Art Club, JTI Foundation, and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Inc. (JCCI).
At the recommendation of international journalist Izuru SUGAWARA, AAR JAPAN has been providing easy-to-build prefabricated container housing units in the disaster zone. To date, we have installed 30 units in the town of Onagawa in Oshika County, Miyagi Prefecture. These container housing units are being used by evacuees as private residences and small shops.
AAR JAPAN collected hand-made tote bags in response to requests from people in evacuation centers and senior care facilities for bags to carry their personal belongings. By May 20th, AAR JAPAN had received 5,000 bags from inside and outside of Japan. Volunteers helped to attach AAR JAPAN’s “Sunny-chan” mascot straps to the bags and deliver them to evacuees, with a special focus on the elderly. People who received the bags were pleased not only with the bags themselves, but also with the various encouraging messages written inside.
In cooperation with AAR JAPAN’s sister organization, Support 21 Social Welfare Corporation, we held two fund-raising concerts: “Home” at the Opera City Concert Hall in Tokyo on May 20th, and “Concert of Heart: Hope” at the Seinen Culture Center in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. Through concert revenues we provided a total of 232 musical instruments to the following institutions, at an equivalent value of 35 million yen:
- Takata Senior High School (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Takata Elementary School (Rikuzen-takata City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Kamaishi Higashi Junior High School (Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture)
- Watanoba Junior High School (Ishinomaki Ciity,Miyagi Prefecture)
- Minato Junior High School (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Kobunkan Senior High School (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
- Noda Junior High School (Noda Village, Iwate Prefecture)
- Ishinomaki Brass Band Association (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
With the support of Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan and Yamano Music Co., Ltd., we delivered 8 sets of electronic pianos, amplifiers, and microphones, as well as other items, to the following daycare centers in Miyagi Prefecture between July 11th and July 31st:
- Hashikami Daycare Center (Kesen-numa City)
- Shishiori Daycare Center (Kesen-numa City)
- Shizugawa Daycare Center (Minami-Sanriku Town, Motoyoshi County)
- Isatomae Daycare Center (Minami-Sanriku Town, Motoyoshi County)
- Watari Daycare Center (Watari Town, Watari County)
- Akai Minami Daycare Center (Higashi-Matsushima City)
- Arisu Daycare Center (Ishinomaki City)
- Yoshihama Daycare Center (Ishinomaki City)
- Hagihama Daycare Center (Ishinomaki City)
AAR JAPAN has been supporting the SOMA Follower Team, a nonprofit organization formed by Soma City to provide psychological care for children. The six-person team includes clinical psychologists, psychiatric social workers, and healthcare workers who have been providing psychological care for students and their parents at affected kindergartens, elementary schools, and junior high schools in Soma City. During summer vacation, they visited schools on fixed dates and gave counseling at meeting places in temporary housing sites. Although few children have shown strong signs of stress, some complain of headaches, stomachaches, nausea, and other concerns. AAR JAPAN will continue to care for the children of Soma City.
In coordination with Manyo Club Co., Ltd. (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), Ascendia Inc. (Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo) and other companies, AAR JAPAN implemented the “Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone!” Project.
With the cooperation of Kanagawa Prefecture’s Yugawara Onsen (hot spring), on the first day of the project, April 9th, AAR JAPAN delivered hot spring water to four evacuation centers in Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture: Yamoto Icchu Junior High School, Akai City Center, Ushiami Community Center, and Asai Civic Center.
After April 12th, in partnership with Miyagi Prefecture’s Onikobe Onsen (hot spring), AAR JAPAN delivered hot spring water to 6 evacuation centers: Yamoto Icchu (later divided into 2 locations), Ushiami Community Center, Akai City Center, Asai Civic Center, and Miyato Elementary School in Higashi Matsushima City, as well as Ishinomaki Shoshin-kai Social Welfare Corporation in Ishinomaki City, every day except Sundays. These 6 delivery points enabled 500-600 evacuees to bathe every day. AAR JAPAN provided the service until the end of May.
12. Shuttle Buses (Concluded)
In Miyagi Prefecture, AAR JAPAN aided in the operation of a shuttle bus service on Ishinomaki City’s Oshika Peninsula, providing mobility for those who had lost their regular means of transportation. A light shuttle bus circulated twice a day in the Ogihama area and once a day in the Ayukawa area. Beginning April 10th, approximately 530 people in the Ogihama area and 220 people in the Ayukawa area used the buses. After roads were repaired and normal bus lines resumed operation, the shuttle bus service was concluded on June 4th.
In Fukushima Prefecture’s Minami-Soma City, all the elementary and junior high school children still living within a 30-km radius of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (Haramachi and Odaka Wards) have been directed to take buses to school in Kashima Ward, which is outside of the 30-km radius. While the number of students in Kashima Ward has suddenly increased, the supply of local vegetables has been limited as a result of the power plant accident, and it became difficult to supply lunches for the students. AAR JAPAN cooperated with the local board of education to deliver vegetable juice and rice for the students (approximately 2800 students), providing vegetable juice twice a week and 2 tons of rice for everyday use from July 1st to July 22nd.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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