I don’t talk much about the tsunami very often on this blog. It didn’t hit me personally, since Fukushima City is quite far from the sea. But I think everyone all over the world feels deep sadness over the tremendous loss of life that happened when the tsunami hit. Overwhelming sadness. I’d like to remember the deaths from that day on this fifth anniversay of the earthquake. So many precious lives lost.
One of the big problems that day was that many people near the coast underestimated the tsunami and didn’t get to high enough ground, or far enough away.
Okawa Elementary School is one of the “famous” tragedies (although every death is a tragedy) of that day. I think everyone in Japan knows the story, but not everybody in abroad. What happened was the teachers knew that a tsunami was coming and spent precious time trying to decide where to go…while the students stood around and waited. A few of the students (the ones who survived) went up the hill to safety. Most students did not go up that hill and were drowned. There were 108 students in all, and seventy-four of them drowned.
Basically the teachers greatly underestimated the force and power and distance of the coming tsunami. Like I said, something which played a part in lot of the deaths that day.
If you can look at the following link, you can see the school, the path in blue up the mountain. The red path was the path the teachers wanted to take.