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Member since: Sat Nov 30, 2013, 05:06 AM
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It's now 2:46 p.m. Japan time, anniversary of the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan earthquake/tsunami

Japan's Tsunami Caught On Camera:

"The Great East Japan Earthquake struck Tohoku at 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011. At 3:12 p.m., twenty-two-foot-high waves hit the city of Kamaishi, killing over twelve hundred people. Monstrous waves barreled farther down the Tohoku coast, killing nearly two thousand people in Rikuzentakara and over three thousand in Ishinomaki. The waves were black and composed of what the Japanese call the hedoro, the dark, smelly, dirty underbelly of the sea that normally lies dormant on the ocean floor. The last officially documented wave was fourteen feet high, and it struck Oarai, about eighty-one miles Northeast of Tokyo, at 4:42 p.m. Here, only one person was killed. That evening, the sun set at 5:45, and the temperature in Tohoku dropped below freezing over night. All told, more than eighteen thousand people died that afternoon and evening, most by drowning. Five days later, with much of Tohoku still cut off from power, and numerous roads damaged, it snowed, further hampering rescue and recovery efforts."

Marie Mutsuki Mockett, "Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye"

"The size of the 2011 tsunami astonished many, but the signs were there -- literally -- posted on roadways all along the Sanriku coastline. Some were set high on winding, hilly roads -- ancient, chilling reminders of a tsunami's long, destructive reach. Farther up, shrines could be found on sites established centuries ago, often on steep hills behind coastal towns. In all likelihood, they were built by the ancestors of the 2011 victims, knowingly far enough away from destructive tsunamis. Blind faith in modern protective seawalls caused numerous deaths. Although the concrete walls may have helped lessen the death toll and level of destruction, most were built too low to stop the waves, and often at astronomical cost. The height of the 1960 Chile tsunami became the standard for specifications, rather than the higher 1896 Meiji Sanriku tsunami. ... Poorly designated evacuation sites also added to the death toll. More than 100 sites in the three hardest-hit coastal prefectures were destroyed by the tsunami. Many fled for safety to designated temples, public schools, and community sites, only to be swept away as the tsunami waves engulfed the buildings. ... Power cuts and the lack of backups left many public warning systems useless."

Lucy Birmingham and David McNeill, "Strong in the Rain"

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