Tokyo (CNN) -- Sagging under the towering load of a triple tragedy, residents in Japan painted a bleak picture Thursday of the still-unfolding crises, but remained hopeful that they will pull through.
In the hardest-hit parts, thousands of citizens, most of them elderly, settled in into shelters -- indefinitely.
They found comfort in daily routine: lining up for lunch, folding and unfolding what few belongings they salvaged before walls of water devoured their communities.
In the capital, long lines of foreigners waited outside the immigration office for permits to temporarily leave Tokyo.
And at the quake-ravaged nuclear plant in Fukushima, air-drops of water did little to lower potentially perilous radiation levels.
Ayana Suzuki said she can't watch the news anymore. So she rented a stockpile of comedies to get her mind off the tragedy.