Remembering the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami: South Sanriku

Remembering the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami: South Sanriku

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

March 11, 2011, will always be a day of mourning throughout Japan. This concerns the deaths of just below 16,000 people but with this figure being higher because over 2,500 remain missing. Hence, over 18,400 lives were lost because of the Great East Japan Earthquake that unleashed the deadly tsunami – and led to a nuclear radiation crisis in Fukushima.

This article is based on a five-minute video that shows the utter devastation of South Sanriku and the surrounding environs on the fateful day of March 11, 2011. Thus the images related to this video will have been witnessed in other areas hit by the devastating tsunami that was unleashed after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck.

In this video that was taken in South Sanriku from the high ground of Shizuwaga High School, it is clear the people watching events unfolding were at first in awe – and then in utter shock when they realized the deadly calamity that was happening. One can only imagine the pain and fear that was striking at their hearts.

One moment everything in life was normal because the world seemed at peace. However, suddenly the tsunami would sweep away houses, roads, buildings, and kill people in huge numbers.

These images from the video of South Sanriku represent the real tragedy that was unfolding throughout this part of Japan. Lives and livelihoods swept away in the blink of an eye. Loved ones, friends, and whole communities swept up by the relentless tsunami.

Hence, irrespective if people are Buddhist, Christian, Shintoist, atheist, secular, or whatever in Japan; it is important to remember this tragic day and to take a quiet break by yourself. Equally important, these cities, towns, and villages need to be supported economically and emotionally – for many individuals remain psychologically scarred by the events that unfolded ten years ago.

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