Friday, March 16, 2012

Year from Then in Tohoku


EMU JR East E721 series (a local train bound for Watari on the Joban Line) arrives at Nagamachi

One year has passed since the 3.11 giant earthquake hit the Tohoku District of Japan. Nearly 20,000 people were killed mainly by a giant tsunami, which followed the powerful quake. To make matters worse, the nuclear power plant disaster, which was caused by the tsunami, is still forcing 10,000 people from their hometowns in Fukushima Prefecture.

Fortunately, there were no victims of train passengers because of the quake. The railways were saved by earthquake resistant constructions and the advanced earthquake warning system (see my blog on July 7th, 2011). But, some routes are still fully suspended due to the damage caused by the tsunami and the nuclear power plant.

Look at the top and the bottom photos. It is a JR East train on the Joban Line. Even if you take this train from Sendai City, you can only reach Watari Town in Miyagi Prefecture. In other words, you cannot go to Fukushima Prefecture on the Joban Line at the moment.

There are many other suspended routes other than the Joban Line in the Tohoku District. A total of seven routes are closed in JR East and two routes in private railways. It is causing severe damage to the local industries as well.

But, as the saying goes, "out of disaster springs fortune." I believe that people in Tohoku District will recover from the devastating casualties soon, because they have good patience and a strong social bond.

Pray for Tohoku.

A local train (bound for Watari on the Joban Line) leaves Nagamachi Station,Sendai urban area