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February 4, 2018 - 3.11 Disaster Center and Arahama Elementary School
And now the somber part of our tour, visiting the 3.11 memorial center and also Arahama Elementary, a school that was almost completely submerged in the tsunami.
This is our guide, Hanabuchi san! She's over 70 and super stylish. She survived the tsunami and told us her first-hand account. She was working at a nursing home, and brought as many patients up to the second floor as she could. When the water came rushing in, some patients were left behind on the 1st floor. Hanabuchi san was crouched on the 2nd floor as water lapped against the balcony of the 2nd floor. Now she's been living in temporary housing for about 7 years. She didn't give all the details, but it's a hard life - walls are thin, spaces are cramped, and people aren't sure how they will go back to living in normal houses yet.
Damage at Arahama Elementary school from the tsunami.
Damage on the first floor of Arahama. This is a 4 floor building very close to the coast. Students and many others from the area trapped on the roof in the cold as they waited for rescue helicopters to lift them. Apparently lots of people didn't take the tsunami warning seriously and didn't evacuate or head to high ground, and ended up losing their lives. This building is now unusable, but still stands as a reminder of the tragedy.
List of Posts:
2018/02/07 - Adios Sendai
2018/02/05 - Sendai Station sake tasting
2018/02/05 - Sendai visitor center
2018/02/05 - Owl Cafe
2018/02/05 - Sushi on a conveyor belt
2018/02/04 - 3.11 Disaster Center and Arahama Elementary School
2018/01/30 - Otaki Fudoson (Achala Buddhist temple)
2018/01/28 - Sakan Hotel, Akiu Onsen hot springs
2017/12/04 - Rairaikyo Gorge
2017/12/03 - Nikka Whiskey Distillery
2017/12/03 - Kokeshi
2017/12/02 - Tsuda Izakaya
2017/12/02 - Sendai - touring temples on bicycle
2017/12/01 - Sendai Castle Ruins
2017/12/01 - Sendi Mediatheque
2017/11/29 - Zuihoden