Cities which were once lively with light and sound of people became quiet with fear in everyone’s eyes in a blink. I was so shocked as I heard about this news flowing via all media. It was one day after I took a plane to Cambodia. Yeah, I was a lucky guy, but I really couldn’t see such a terrible disaster haunting them in dream.
The 2011 earthquake of the Pacific coast of Tōhoku was a magnitude 9.0 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46.
I was struck with fear, but one thing wandering around my head was “help”, “They need you now”, so I decided to volunteer via ACC21 organization. We left to Ishinomaki City(石巻市), about 50km from Sendai City(仙台市), Miyagi. It was one of cities which was worst damaged during Tsunami. A total of 3,097 deaths had been confirmed in there due to the tsunami, with 2,770 unaccounted for. Approximately 29,000 city residents lost their homes.
It was 6 months after tsunami. No more people lived there because they were afraid of tsunami coming again. Only the sound of wave were heard.
It was told that the tsunami was over the white 4-floor building. We could imagine how frightening it was.
That was a primary school in the city burnt due to the earthquake. The slogan written on it is ” grow up healthily both mind and body.
The library was damaged with everything burnt and smash of glass.
I found a photo of a kid near the library. He may have been a student studying there. Hope he was ok.
After a while, there came a mini car and a women got out of it. She stood still and looked at the school. She told us that her children had studied there, but they were all ok( Thank gods!). Now the school was moved to the mountain, she told us.
I came across with an award. It is written Booby prize, Bowling Tournament National Health Insurance Division, S56, 9,19 (1981, Sept, 19th). Who the owner was, where he or she was now, were all buried with questions in head.
Cars became toys.
We could see the sea at the opposite side. We stopped over there nearly 1hour seeing the the big waves. I could smell the smell of fish carcass from it. That was not a pleasant smell.
We started doing volunteering work the next day. Our task was to move dirt, mud struck in the small tunnel of fishing village. They couldn’t start their fishing factory again if the water couldn’t flow from that tunnel. It was the hardest job to me until now. It took us 2 days to finish it.
We were all tired, but we were all happy of what we were doing. It worth doing. It was a great moment, a fantastic experience in life. We come from different countries, we have different languages, culture, but we have one thing the same. It is a volunteering spirit to help others. We like helping others.
At last, we could see the beautiful sea from our bus windows back from work. I’m waiting for you to get up again, Tohoku. I’m supporting you. 東北、頑張ろう。(Tohoku, Ganbarou!)
You may see these for more information: Sitting silent in their classroom, the 30 children whose parents have not come to collect them after tsunami swept away their town