A short extract of a post about a Canadian teacher in Onagawa that features in my book about the Great East Japan Earthquake, The Teas That Bind:
You have to read this. I know, you are probably all news-ed out. There has been quite a lot of it recently and the hysteria and misinformation is already too much. You don’t want to know any more.
But still, all that considered, you have to read this. It is a first-hand account of what happened when the tsunami hit Onagawa, told by a Canadian teacher and his girlfriend. I promise, it will be worth the time taken to read it.
In amongst the details of the cold and hunger suffered by the survivors in the initial aftermath of the disaster, I found this recollection to be the most disturbing:
The town’s PA system announced a tsunami warning. The older people in the playground said to not worry, that a tsunami had never come this far inland during their lives. So everyone relaxed, and waited until it was safe to go back inside.
After about 15 minutes, they saw water coming down the streets, and it was rising rapidly. Not a huge wave like in the movies, but rather like a bathtub filling up. Many of the older people ran back to their houses, maybe to gather precious belongings.
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