“I got separated from my daughter when the massive seawater hit us.” A woman quietly told NHK with teary eyes. After the 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit northeast Japan, she and her teenage daughter ran up to the third floor of a public office concerning forthcoming tsunami. And then she heard a woman screaming. She saw a sand dune like wave coming to the window. Next moment, she was in debris and water. “I tried to come up to the surface of the water but wood pieces stifled me.” The wave carried her 400 meter away from the building. “I survived but I can’t find my daughter. We were holding hands but the water separated us. I am scared to see the town.”
The destroyed towns shown on TV or papers tell enough about the disaster, but when you hear the victims’ voices, you get a clearer picture of what’s going on over there. The interviews on this post were conducted by NHK (Japan’s government broadcaster).
When the quake hit Japan, this woman (probably in her 60s) was at home in Wakabayashi ward in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, which is one of the most damaged area. She and her husband heard tsunami warning after the quake, so they were trying to go higher area by a car, but it was too late; they were swallowed by tsunami. “The car was rolling,” she explained with hand gesture “and we were stuck on a tree. We spent a night clinging to the tree. It was snowing.” The next day, she was rescued by a rescue party came by a helicopter.
This man (probably in his 30s) with bruises on his face told how he escaped from the water. When the tsunami hit the town, he was in his house. “The house was crushed by the water. In the cold water, I escaped from a window. I was trying to get out of the water, but my pants, I was wearing jersey suit at the time, got stuck on something, so I grabbed a scrap wood with a nail on and ripped my pants. And then I asked help at a nursing home. They said me to break the window to get in, so I broke it with my elbow and got in. I thought I was going to die.” He was talking plain but suddenly fell silent for a while as he held back his tears. “I thought I have to stay alive for my family, and exhaust every last possibility to live.”
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“Tsunami Swallows Kesennnuma city in Miyagi Prefecture”