Saturday, January 21, 2012

Spirit of Tohoku, Post-quake Recovery


EMU Sendai Subway 1000 series arrives at Yaotome Station, elevated track

Recently, I had an opportunity to visit Sendai City in the Tohoku District. Sendai is situated about 300km north of Tokyo and is the main city of Miyagi Prefecture.

On March 11th, last year, a giant earthquake hit eastern part of Japan. The epicenter of which was located offshore, 170km east of Sendai City. Sendai was severely damaged by the destructive shaking. To make matters worse, the coastal part of the city was devastated by a giant tsunami. It wasn't just someone else's affair, as I lived in Sendai when I was a student.

The railways in the Sendai area, such as the Tohoku Shinkansen, JR East lines and the Sendai Subway Line, were also severely damaged. For example, bridge girders of elevated track section on the Sendai Subway Line were cracked near Yaotome Station. The Sendai City Transportation Bureau, which is the operator of the subway line, speeded up reconstruction efforts of the damaged sections.

Eventually, on April 29th, the entire route of the subway reopened, which was achieved one month ahead of schedule. The operation of the subway Nanboku (South-North) Line, a total of 14.8km in length, returned to normal. Construction of a new route, 13.9km in length, the Tozai (East-West) Line, was also resumed in the downtown area.

I think that people in the Tohoku District have tenacity and endurance. They also are closely united. It's probably because of cold and severe climate in winter. The city life now looks normal.

I saw the "Sprit of Tohoku" in Sendai City.


EMU Sendai Subway 1000 series leaves Nagamachi Station, underground section

More information about Sendai Subway: