Tokyobling's Blog

Kadowaki Elementary School

Posted in Places by tokyobling on April 12, 2011

One of the saddest places I have ever visited must be this school, the Kadowaki Elementary (門脇小学校). It survived the earthquake and the following tsunami, like most schools in the disaster hit areas, but it didn’t stand a chance when struck by the burning cars. The wall of water made it impossible for the fire fighters to try and put out the fire from the front, so their only way to fight the fire was to go around to the back of the school, climb up the hill and shoot water down from above it. They managed to save about half of the school, including most first grader’s classrooms, and the gym. Of the 300 students 8 are still missing. Here are photos I took right in front of the school, and of the burned out teacher’s office on the ground floor. The burnt out classrooms on the top floor belonged to the 5th and 6th grades. The tsunami reached far up on the second floor. If it hadn’t been for the hill behind the school it would have been much worse.

Fire and Flood

Posted in Places by tokyobling on April 11, 2011

Driving towards one of the worst hit schools in the whole of Miyagi Prefecture we entered an area where the look of the damage and the color of the debris suddenly changed. From the grey blue of the tsunami mud to the ocher tones of burned and rusted metal. In this part of town, about 10 minutes after the earthquake had set fire to a few parked cars, the tsunami hit and carried a wave of cars belonging to several different shops and factories towards, over and through a residential area, spreading the fire as the tsunami moved towards the last buildings of the area, the Kadowaki Elementary school were evacuations of the 300 students where just taking place. As you can see, cars and buildings that survived the tsunami were heavily damaged in the subsequent fires.

This was once the location of a Yakult center.

The road we were traveling had only just been opened a day before, and many soldiers remained in the area to clean roads and search for bodies.

Road towards Kadowaki Elementary School, just cleared of debris.

This bonsai tree didn’t make it.

A few newly constructed residential houses somehow survived the earthquake, the tsunami and the fire. Nothing remains of the interior though. The tsunami easily reached the roof tops.

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