Japan: One Town’s Fate

April 3, 2011 12:00 a.m.  •  0 comments

Post-tsunami Japan turns to the enormous task of putting towns like this back together.

You can use the j/k or ←/→ keys to navigate up and down this page.


In this photo taken Wednesday, March 23, 2011, the Minamisanriku Disaster Emergency Center headquarters stands gutted in the earthquake- and tsunami-destroyed town of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan. The headquarters, which sounded the tsunami alert signal on March 11, was later totally submerged under the incoming wave. The town’s mayor, Jin Sato, spent the night on the roof clutching to a fence on its edge.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 23, 2011, Toshiko Suda, 63, right, and her husband Michio Suda, 64, wait to load their few remaining belongings into a truck at the site of their home and seaweed business which was destroyed by the tsunami on March 11, in the town of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

In this photo taken Tuesday, March 15, 2011, a neighborhood lies in ruin next to a pool of seawater in Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

In this photo taken Tuesday, March 15, 2011, a car lies upside-down amid debris in a pool of water in the earthquake- and tsunami-destroyed town of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

Nearby, a pink octopus lies dead in a pool of sea water, its tentacles wrapped around a crumpled sheet of corrugated aluminum that may have been a roof, a gate, a wall. Beside it, a broken tarmac road runs as far as the eye can see through fields of demolished houses and debris.

Associated Press Link

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 23, 2011, a dead octopus lies next to submerged debris in a seawater puddle where the City Hall offices previously stood in the earthquake- and tsunami-destroyed town of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 23, 2011, a mud-covered wedding photo rests inside a box of photographs that Japanese military collected and left on the side of a road while searching the area, in Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

The statistics for this town alone are grim. Of the 17,666 people who once lived here, at least 322 have been confirmed dead and thousands more have disappeared — still buried in the ruins or sucked out to sea. Another 9,325 lost their homes and live in 45 shelters, mostly schools, spread on hills along the bay.

Associated Press Link

In this photo taken Thursday, March 24, 2011, members of a family cry and console each other inside a shelter after discovering the death of a loved one at a shelter in the earthquake- and tsunami-destroyed town of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

In this photo taken Thursday, March 24, 2011, a sick and elderly refugee is taken to an ambulance from a medical facility inside at a shelter in the earthquake- and tsunami-destroyed town of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

In this photo taken Thursday, March 24, 2011, refugees gather to look for clothing at an aid station set up outside the Bayside Arena shelter in the earthquake- and tsunami-destroyed town of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

In this photo taken Thursday, March 24, 2011, stocks of food supplies are piled high inside a gymnasium at an arena used as a refugee shelter in the earthquake- and tsunami-destroyed town of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan. Aid supplies like food, clothing, gas, medicine has begun to arrive from the prefecture government, private donations, and aid drives abroad.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

In this photo taken Thursday, March 24, 2011, a refugee sleeps inside his allowed floor space, separated from his neighbors by the walls of a cardboard box, in a hallway at a shelter in the earthquake- and tsunami-destroyed town of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

The sheer extent of the devastation wrought March 11 raises existential questions: Should the dozens of shattered communities along these shores be rebuilt at all? Can they be, when up to half their inhabitants are gone and survivors know it could happen again?

Associated Press Link

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 23, 2011, men operating a bicycle crank pump refuel cars at the site of a gas station in the earthquake- and tsunami-destroyed town of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 23, 2011, Japanese military search through the rubble for victims in the earthquake- and tsunami-destroyed town of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan.


In this photo taken Wednesday, March 23, 2011, a refugee woman walks past a gutted house in the destroyed town of Minamisanriku, northeastern Japan.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus