It’s been two years since the big earthquake struck the north east region of Japan. It was certainly a life changing event for everyone in the region, and also for many of us who lived hundreds of kilometers away. The same evening they opened the highway I was on my way. The strongest memory I have (rather silly but something that I can never wash out of my head) is the stench of the mud that covered everything, and got worse the closer to the destruction you got. All of these photos were taken more than 3 weeks after the earthquake, by which time many of the roads had been cleared.
There are still massive amounts of work to do to bring the tsunami hit areas back to something resembling a normal situation and a lot of people are critical of the pace of the government, but having been up there I am not surprised that things are taking time. It’s not even the seemingly straight forward question of rebuilding everything that was destroyed, we also need to consider for what reason we are rebuilding and how.
1. A train caught by the tsunami lies across a cemetary on top of a 24m tall hill overlooking Onagawa town, Miyagi prefecture. 2. A ship lies across a concrete building, on top of a car in Kesenuma city, Miyagi prefecture. 3. A tent to house a temporary morgue in Shiogama city, Miyagi prefecture. 4. A long distance travel coach washed off the highway south of Kesennuma city, Miyagi prefecture. I don’t know about survivors. 5. An announcement of the result of a building survey at what remains of the Saito residence, only the front gate pillar, Shiogama city, Miyagi prefecture. 6. Refugees at a temporary shelter in local high school, Higashimatsushima city, Miyagi prefecture. 7. Plum flowers in full bloom, outside Zuiganji Temple at Matsushima town, Miyagi prefecture. 8. Large vessel washed onto the harbor, Ishinomaki city, Miyagi prefecture. 9. Train washed onto Prefectureal Route 10, Sendai City, Miyagi prefecture. The nearest train track is 3-4km to the north. 10. Crushed crane truck outside the remains of a Lawson convenience store, Sendai city. 11. All that remains of Sakamoto station on the Joban line. I have heard that the station was evacuated before the tsunami struck. Yamamoto town, Miyagi prefecture. 12. A JR train from the Joban line crushed on top of the remains of Shinchi station, Shinchi town, Fukushima prefecture. All passengers of the train reportedly survived.