Continuing with the coverage from ground zero at Ishinomaki 5 months after the Tohoku Kanto Earthquake. This Google Map shows Kadonowaki-cho and the Minamihama-cho area - as you can see, most of it was destroyed by the tsunami which traveled 600 meters inland at about 10 meters high.
The earthquake alone shifted the whole city Southeast and lowering it by about 1.2 meters which now causes floods in some areas at high tide.
Today we continue to look at the damage and in the next post we will look at how the volunteer group Peace Boat are helping the locals.
Video below taken just after the tsunami. The word "Kaimetsu" 壊滅] that you hear in the news report means "total destruction" or "annihilation" and is a term that one would have heard regularly on the news during March.
As previously mentioned in the Onagawa post, Google Maps show the post tsunami satellite images but the Street Views still show what it looks like from 2009. Here we have a cozy corner of the neighborhoods...
And this is what it looks like now. Not only was it destroyed by the tsunami, the oil from the factories caused a fire which burnt out half of the school. Fortunately, most of the children managed to escape.
There was another school however which wasn't so fortunate where 74 of their 108 students and 10 of the 13 teachers lost their lives to the tsunami.
We visited a factory that manufactures canned fish. Cans from the factories were scattered all over Ishinomaki. While the labels on most of the cans were washed off, the contents were deemed edible so the Peace Boat folks have been collecting and cleaning the cans. The cans are being sold where the money is being used for the recovery efforts.
The smell in this place is unbearable but I was told that it was even worse shortly after the tsunami. The smell comes from the rotting fish which were left behind from the tsunami. Folks who were working to clean up could only stay in the area for a while before getting a headache from the stench.
I got a headache too after we spent 20 mins in the area.
All cars were collected and stored in 3 locations around Ishinomaki. The number plate/type of car/location found is all noted down. Folks who have lost their car go to one of the ward centers in Ishinomaki and are told where their vehicle is. Some folks come to check their car but most just leave it here...
I wasn't sure if it was appropriate or not to drive our Mirai Itasha to Tohoku. But its the only car we have and renting one didn't make sense. We found that the locals love it though ^^;
A certain amount of folks believe that Japan should keep on sulking in despair after the tsunami which does not help Japan to recover at all. This is one of the reasons why the locals have decided to carry on with the Summer festivals to cheerup and get the community back on its feet. The day before we arrived there was a festival in Ishinomaki where money raised is being used for the relief efforts.