In Minanisoma, a city located in Fukushima just 15 miles (24 km) away from the nuclear reactors, the Mayor turns to Youtube to seek aid.
Trapped by the order to stay indoors because of radiation leaks, 20,000 Minamisoma residents who haven't already fled the city faced starvation, said Katsunobu Sakurai (pictured), Mayor of Minanisoma, in an 11-minute Youtube recording (below).
In his video, Sakurai said that the nuclear alert was preventing food shipments from arriving in the city and citizens were "left isolated". According to Sakurai, delivery trucks refused to enter within 18 miles (28.9 km) of the plant.
"I beg you, as the mayor of Minanisoma city, to help us," he recorded in the video that was posted on Youtube 24 March 2011 and has since had 224,000 views. "We ask for your help, volunteers, we need help to transport supplies but we must depend on volunteers who could act at their own risk, because of the measures to remain indoors issued by the government.
Sakurai told the New York Times that the idea for the video came from residents who complained that few volunteers were coming to Minanimosa to help and urged him to make an appeal directly on the Internet.
"Until now, we waited for the mass media to come here and videotape us," Sakurai said. "This time, we reversed the process by taking our own video and broadcasting it."
The city has since received food and other supplies from individuals, and truckloads of relief goods from non-profit organisations. As Minanimosa's situation improves, text has been added to the video, telling would-be volunteers not to come because of the radiation threat, and asking that aid be sent instead.