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Iwate city puts tsunami behind it

By Elaine Lies

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Living just 20 mintues from coast, I can still remember the events of that day clearly. It took me almost two months before I ventured to the coastal areas mentioned above. The first time I saw Taro after the tsumami, I could not wrap my mind around what I was seeing. The town had been been flattened by the tsunami. Today, the Taro area remains mostly the same as it was after the tsunami. This was the second time in the last 100 years that the town of Taro had been devastated by a tsunami. The last major tsunami struck in 1933. Most of the residents have relocated to other areas of Iwate, but those that remain are still unsure on whether to rebuild or not.

I encourage any of you who have not been to Iwate, to come visit. Other areas, including my town of Iwaizumi, have chosen to rebuild. And although we will never forget the events of March 11th, we are looking towards the future with optimism and hope.

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iwatejay Good for you! I'm a bit further south, but would love to get there some day. Keep building! Keep believing!

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Don't build below the rock monuments that the elders put up over the years. Then no one will be caught ever again.

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The title of the article does not match the contents at all, which report on the remnants of the tsunami still visible and the temporary housing. And what about the mental scars?

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We drove through Taro in April 2011.

At least in Miyako there were signs of progress...they were hand cranking the petrol stations life was trying to return to normal. But Taro was gone.

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Iwatejay : I wish you the best and hope you and the citizens of your city never experience such a disaster again!

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Warispeace is, unfortunately, correct that the contents of the article belie the headline. Kobe has recovered from the Awaji earthquake in 1985. But that is because Kobe is a large city whose port -- including Osaka-- is still globally important. Size is still a factor in resiliency. I feel for much smaller places like Miyako that have undergone devastation, and I applaud the people who have visited -- I have not because the Sea of Japan prefectures of Fukui and Ishikawa not to mention Hyogo and Kyoto are personally much closer to me geographically -- but their size and lack of geoeconomic weight militate against recovery and restoration, and the Japanese taxpayer has to decide how much budget should be devoted to "restoring" that which is not easily restorable -- even if the government spends wisely, which is a doubtful proposition.

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One of the reasons why there was such a high death toll in Taro was because they had too sea walls that were designed to prevent damage from a 15 m tsunami so in many cases the people felt they would be safe whatever happened. I believe the water was 18 metres when it reached the walls so cleared them with ease. It reached 38 metres in the end due to the geography and the high cliff walls at back of the town.

When we drove through there, and it wasn't the first place we'd been too along the coast, it was horrrific.

not entirely sure why my previous post was marked down but still.

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I usually don't comment on these things but Taro is a very special place to me. I was not here for the Tsunami, I came 2 years afterwards and the scars along the coast were VERY visible still. I cried a few times because although I was not personally affected, I just could not fathom the amount of suffering these people had gone through. In the past year, there has been tremendous efforts and a lot of construction to try to get the ball rolling. Unfortunately, many people especially in Taro are still in refugee/temporary housing. Some families have decided to move on out of Taro while others are still undecided since there is promise of new housing in a safer area. But... Despite everything that has happened, the people are so strong and amazing. All of Miyako is filled with great people who are positive, friendly, and warm. Truly, they've shown me what it is to unite as a community. Although the area is small, the heart of the people is large.

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