Tohoku residents still haunted by memories of devastating 3/11 triple disaster
Japan Times -- Mar 12
Japan on Monday marked the eighth anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan that left more than 15,000 people dead and triggered the world’s worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl crisis.

As rain and strong winds hit coastal areas in the region, people attended memorials and offered prayers for the victims of the magnitude 9.0 quake and ensuing tsunami that struck on March 11, 2011.

“I can still vividly recall the harrowing scene after all these years,” said 63-year-old Seiichi Watanabe at a park on the hill where he fled in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, after his home was washed away by the tsunami.

The Miyagi police had been scheduled to search for remains of the missing in coastal areas, but terminated the plan due to poor weather. Officers in Fukushima and at most Iwate police stations were scheduled to go ahead with their planned searches.

Ayumi Kakuhari, 33, who lost her brother Tomoyuki Kanno, 20, to the tsunami in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, prayed before his grave in the rain.

“I still feel like he is going to suddenly show up one day,” she said.

On Sunday, a number of lit candles were placed on the field at the J-Village national soccer training center, which straddles the towns of Naraha and Hirono in Fukushima Prefecture.

On the holders of the candles were messages, including one that read, “I’ll never forget that day,” and another wishing for the reconstruction of Fukushima. The prefecture is also home to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, where an unprecedented triple meltdown occurred due to damage from the tsunami.

At the “Candle Night” event, participants remembered victims of the natural disaster and prayed for further progress in post-disaster reconstruction. J-Village, once used as a base for measures to tackle the nuclear disaster, is set to be fully reopened as a training center next month.

News source: Japan Times
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