I’ve never seen anything like Japan’s Sendai region – recovering from last year’s tsunami – in my life.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited on Monday a community along the country’s northeast coast that bore the burnt of the earthquake and tsunami last year.
From the plane as it banked in, you could see the first line of full-grown trees completely flattened onto the ground, pointing inland. The coast near the community had plenty of trees before the tsunami, but now the ones left are dead. Some of the nearby land used to be rice paddies but nothing can grow there until the soil is desalinated after being soaked by the sea water.
Even though most of the debris has been collected – a new incinerator was recently built just to deal with the rubble – the scars of the twin disaster are everywhere.
Harper payed his respects at an abandoned junior high school where 14 students were killed during the disaster. Just in the schoolyard out back are boats left stranded 1 km inland after the flood waters receded. The school is set to be torn down and it’s an eerie place, dirty and abandoned.
I’ve found a video shot from the school soon after the tragedy.
I was hoping to post video I shot but modern technology decided not to cooperate. So here’s some still footage comparison.