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‘I won’t leave the town where I was born’

An old lady in Ofunato has experienced tsunami three times

The home of Ms. Yasuko Sasaki (86), located in Sakari town, was flooded in the tsunami caused by East Japan Earthquake. She has been suffered a great deal of damages from the three great tsunamis in her life. All three tsunamis caused by the 1933 Sanriku earthquake (昭和三陸地震,), the 1960 Great Chilean earthquake(チリ地震津波), and this time attacked her.
http://www.tenkai-japan.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/ms.sasaki.jpg

Ms. Sasaki returned home from the shelter after a long time in 40 days since the disaster. ‘Here is my place. I won’t be able to leave.’ She never tries to leave but continues living in her native place.
On March 11, the earthquake hit as she was about to put a flying pan on fire for cooking her late lunch. After put out a fire she rushed out in a panic, but its rolling was too strong and she could not find any place to cling to. Although, she could escape from the tsunami on riding on her second son, Katsuyoshi’s car, the tidal wave washed into her house and all household goods were flooded. Roof tiles were badly cracked too. She was forced to live in a nearby community center.
http://www.tenkai-japan.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/showa-sanriki-tsunami-set.jpg
(The 1933 Sanriku earthquake)

She was only an elementary schoolchild when the 1933 Sanriku earthquake occurred. She rushed out with wearing a pair of zori or straw sandals in snowy winter.
At the 1960 Great Chilean earthquake, she carried her newborn daughter on her back and run up desperately to the hill with her husband and three sons including Katsuyoshi.
http://www.tenkai-japan.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/1960026-chiri-tsunami-set.jpg
(The 1960 Great Chilean earthquake)

‘Tsunami never washed in this time.’ She was believed, because Ofunato city was guarded by the huge and strong breakwater. The tsunami this time destroyed that big breakwater however. She is not easy and is really afraid of next possibility of tsunami.

She could return to her home on April 16 and take a warm oneself at a kotatsu in a living room furnished with new tatami mats. Her son, Katsuyoshi bought a hearing aid to her, because she became hard of hearing shocked by the tsunami disaster. ‘I can hear, better.’ She smiled.

All field products nearby home were washed away, but she purchased spinach seeds and others. ‘I have a mind to do farming again. My organic vegetables would be good.’ She smiled.


View Sakari in a larger map

By TS on May 5, 2011
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tag : Earthquake

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