Reuniting friends, announcing restaurant and shop reopenings, sharing information on where people can get health care, it’s all in a day’s work for the crew of Miyako FM 77.4, a makeshift radio station born days after the deadly tsunami of March 11 swept over their city.

After the tsunami and earthquake, we had nothing: no electricity, no lights, no telephone … It was so dark, we couldn’t even watch TV, so we didn’t know what was going on, we didn’t get any information,” said Satou Shoji, a retired Miyako city worker who runs the station. “Only radio was something that we could listen to.”

Miyako, tucked into a state park and home to 60,000 people, was hard hit when the quake-generated waves roared ashore: At least 420 people were killed in the city, 3,670 homes were destroyed and at least 1,170 were left homeless.

Shoji, 61, said he and other members of the Miyako Community Broadcasting Society had already laid the groundwork for a local radio station and quickly sprang into action. They got permission to go on the air and arranged for a consulting company in Fukushima to the south to bring up the equipment they needed, including audio processors, a microphone and a sound mixer. More at: msnbc

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