Thursday, April 21, 2011

South Sanriku -- Tsunami seen from Shizugawa High School

Minamisanriku (南三陸町)

Minami Sanriku or South Sanriku(みなみさんりくちょう), Miyagi, northern Japan. The full name is Minamisanriku (南三陸町, Minamisanriku-chō), which means "South three land". It is part of The Sanriku coast (三陸海岸 Sanriku kaigan) is a descriptive term referring to Mutsu in Aomori, Rikuchū in Aomori and Rikuzen in Miyagi. It was a charming resort town on a coastline of wooded islands and mountainous inlets. The town is in Motoyoshi District(本吉郡, Motoyoshi-gun), Miyagi Prefecture(宮城県, Miyagi-ken),located in the Tōhoku Region on Honshu island, Japan. The capital is Sendai(仙台市, Sendai-shi), which also suffered from catastrophic damage from a magnitude 9.0 offshore earthquake and the tsunami that it caused. It has an area of 163.74 square kilometres (63.22 sq mi), and as of October 1, 2004 the population of the area was 19,170. The town was formed through a merger on October 1, 2005, when the towns of Shizugawa(志津川町)and Utatsu(歌津町), both from Motoyoshi District, merged to form the new town of Minamisanriku. The town was destroyed by the Japanese 2011 tsunami on 11-3-2011.

Shizugawa (志津川町)
Shizugawa (志津川町, Shizugawa-chō) was a town located in Motoyoshi District, Miyagi, Japan. Shizugawa contained a junior high and a high school. The town was immersed in water by the 2011 great tsunami leading to its near total destruction and the death of many of its people. Although its people had prepared for the risk of a tsunami by preparing a tall sea wall, the wave was so large that it easily topped the wall. Buildings as tall as four stories were then totally immersed.

Map of Shizugawa, Minamisanriku (日本宮城県本吉郡南三陸町志津川町村)

View Larger Map

The coming of Tsunami
The video was taken from the Shizugawa High school(宮城県志津川高等学校)

This clip is the most horrifying as commented by yahoo. Entitled "South Sanriku -- Tsunami seen from Shizugawa High School," it's shot from high ground, but toward the end of the video you can see panicked residents running for their lives. Almost as dramatic as the video is its audio track, where even if you don't speak Japanese, you can tell the people are expressing concern at the beginning, but by the end, their voices have reached a high level of panic and horror as they watch their homes washing away. Shortly after the tsunami, one survivor called the oncoming deluge "a gigantic pile of garbage coming down the street." That's an apt description, as you can see an entire town reduced to a huge pile of watery debris in a matter of minutes. Shocking.(source: yahoo)

The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake
The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami (東日本大震災, Higashi Nihon Daishinsai, literally "Eastern Japan Great Earthquake Disaster", officially named the Great East Japan Earthquake, was a 9.0-magnitude undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) on Friday, 11 March 2011. The epicenter was approximately 72 km (45 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku, with the hypocenter at an underwater depth of approximately 32 km (19.9 mi). On 1 April 2011, the Japanese government named the disaster resulting from the earthquake and tsunami the "Great Eastern Japan Earthquake" (東日本大震災, Higashi Nihon Daishinsai). The earthquake triggered extremely destructive tsunami waves of up to 37.9 meters (124 ft) that struck Japan minutes after the quake, in some cases traveling up to 10 km (6 mi) inland, with smaller waves reaching many other countries after several hours. Tsunami warnings were issued and evacuations ordered along Japan's Pacific coast and at least 20 other countries, including the entire Pacific coast of the Americas

Sanriku Tsunami 2011
The north-eastern coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu, the hauntingly beautiful area called Sanriku, has experienced four destructive tsunamis in the last 115 years, and with more loss of life than any tsunami-prone region in Japan or perhaps the world. The most devastating one, in 1896 (known as the Meiji Sanriku Tsunami) was, until 2011, the worst in modern Japanese history.

It killed over 27,000 people in many of the same towns and villages suffering through the current disaster. Another powerful wave in 1933 took fewer lives, about 3000, but so shook local sensibilities that it led to the massive building of dikes and other defences, which helped to keep casualties to a minimum when a third tsunami struck in 1968. Half a century's worth of concrete walls, breakwaters, and other fortifications could not hold back the most recent wave, however, whose ultimate toll in human suffering may exceed that of 1896.

For generations, the sea was the life-blood of the picturesque fishing town of Minami Sanriku, but in one fateful moment it turned destroyer.

Minami Sanriku didn't stand a chance. Caught in the path of the giant tsunami generated by Friday's earthquake, the town is now no more, wiped from the map by a towering wall of water, buried under a mountain of thick debris-strewn mud, drowned by an angry, merciless sea that could not be stopped.

Of the 17,000 residents that call this tourism magnet home, more than 10,000 remain missing, feared dead.

They were the first to feel the force of the tsunami, given their homes sit just 80km west of the 8.9-magnitude quake's epicentre. It was a direct hit, as quick as it was devastating.

"10,000 ppl missing. horrible, whole town is gone. highway broken into bits, in mud, all mud, all gone. Incredible devastation, all buildings except hospital are gone, highway in pieces, only 3 buildings standing, hospital, some wedding place and one more building. rest are gone."


The impact of earthquake and tsunami 2011

After tsunami at Shizugawa(南三陸志津川町の様子)

Report after tsunami at South Sanriku (宮城県南三陸町より被災状況報告)

Evacuation Centre at Shizugawa Primary School(宮城県南三陸町・志津川小学校避難所より)

The 1933 Sanriku earthquake (1933 昭和三陸地震)
The 1933 Sanriku earthquake (昭和三陸地震, Shōwa Sanriku Jishin) was a major earthquake whose associated tsunami caused widespread damage to towns on the Sanriku coast of the Tōhoku region of Honshū, Japan in 1933.The epicenter of the 1933 Sanriku earthquake was located offshore, 290 kilometres (180 mi) east of the city of Kamaishi, Iwate. The initial shock occurred on at 0230 AM on March 2, 1933. The earthquake measured 8.4 on the moment magnitude scale and was in approximately the same location as the 1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake.

1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake(1896 明治三陸大津波)
The 1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake was highly destructive, generating one of the most devastating tsunamis in Japanese history, destroying about 9,000 homes and causing at least 22,000 deaths. This magnitude 7.2 event occurred at 19:32 (local time) on June 15, 1896. The magnitude of the tsunami (Mt = 8.2) was much greater than expected for the estimated seismic magnitude and this earthquake has been regarded as being part of a distinct class of events, a tsunami earthquake

The 869 Sanriku earthquake(869年貞観地震)
The 869 Sanriku earthquake and tsunami (869年三陸地震, 869-nen Sanriku jishin?) struck the area around Sendai in the northern part of Honshu on 9 July 869 (May 26, Jōgan 11). The earthquake had an estimated magnitude of 8.6 on the surface wave magnitude scale. The tsunami caused widespread flooding of the Sendai plain, with sand deposits being found up to 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from the coast.

(extract from wikipedia)

Recommended articles/websites:

1. Minami Sanriku - the town that disappeared in the Japan earthquake;The Daily Telegraph dated # March 14, 2011 12:00AM,
2. 1933 Sanriku earthquake,
3.Seismicity of the Sanriku coast,
4.Sanriku: Japan's 'Tsunami Coast', The Telegraph, 21-4-2011,

No comments:

Post a Comment