Monday, April 11, 2011

Visiting Rikuzen-Takata--the Sun Village


April 10th 4月10日
Today we went to Rikuzen-Takata, another entire town wiped out by the tsunami. The local officials have estimated that between 20 to 40% of the population is dead, and over 80% of the houses were swept away, even though the town had a 6.5 meter seawall.
According to some news stories, the harbor-gates got jammed, and 45 firemen got swept away as they tried to close it manually before the tsunami reached the town.

All of the evacuation zones were up on the top of the surrounding hills, and fairly close together. But to get to each other, one had to go down the hill and through the wrecked town around to another road up another hill.
We went to the Sun Village dome, which is a big open-air sports center with fake grass. Because it was open, all the evacuees slept in tents, donated by the Rotary club.

Most of the people who live in the evacuation center were out poking through the wreckage of their houses, or looking for bodies, so the space was relatively empty. But people grabbed up the dolls that we brought them, and they were thankful for the few boxes of toilet paper that we had with us.


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