Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tsnunami 2

At lunch, we would sit by the lake and enjoy the view.
During a brake, we would go to a nearby place which would offer us some cold tea. despite the hardship they endured, having lost everything for most of them, their spirit remained high. They were so optimistic, so good humored so great. A humbling lesson that I learned. For example, one woman, was planning to make a guest house of her home, when thing who return to 'normality'.
Look at the 2 clocks on the wall, and pay attention to the biggest one
Between 2  and 3 you can see a dark line. This is the top level at which the wave came through that village/
If you think about it, the wave was much smaller than the one that destroyed that school (they're both the same). But, if you remember the Google Earth photo, on my previous article, you could see that the village lies on the mountain side, turning its back on the sea. The area, it faces, is quite wide open. The combination of these two factors shortened the wave height and made it go slower, reducing the destruction. While the school is situated in a narrower area, the wave was then higher and faster (this is, at least, the explanations I understood when I was told about it).

You can see the new and clean temporary road, built only 4 months after the tsunami
This was not just a tsunami, that wiped out the whole coastline of its villages. Actually the land of northeastern Japan collapsed two or three meters down. So, many of the coastal towns were at or below sea level. The people could not live there anymore. They had to be removed to safer ground. The village would be destroyed (I heard of the possibility to move the houses to higher ground).

 
The small town, opposite side of the lake, was completely destroyed. Some of its houses got wiped out of their foundation and ended up in the lake. In the lake (at the time, I took that photo), there were still some unfounded corpses lying in the bottom (not too many). The lake, after the tsunami, gained in size. 

The river, also, was enlarged. Before, it was only on the left side of the road. But after,  you could see it on the right side.
Volunteers from all around the world
Notice the dead trees around that shrine gate, killed by the sea salt

This car was taken down a roof by that crane
The town on the other side of the lake


Sorry no sound.

After two days, I left. My Japanese friends could not stay any longer. And it was thanks to them, I could come and get into a NGO to help. 

Next: In 2013, I volunteered again for two weeks in the Tono area (near Morioka.