Monday, March 11, 2013

3.11, Two Years Since Then

EMU JR East 719 series, "Sendai City Rabbit", bound for Fukushima, stands at Sendai Station

Two years have passed since March 11th in 2011 when a 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 weren't any victims from the train passengers because of the 3.11 quake. The railways were saved by the earthquake resistant construction and the advanced earthquake warning system (see my blog on July 7th, 2011). But, some routes are still suspended due to the damage caused by the tsunami and the nuclear power plant.

I saw that the most of the trains were operated normally at Sendai Station last month. An inter-city rapid train, "Sendai City Rabbit", was operated to Fukushima Prefecture, as it was before the 3.11 (see the top photo). Sendai, which is located about 300 kilometers north of Tokyo, was hit by the 3.11 giant earthquake and tsunami, but local people seemed to have recovered from the shock of the disaster. Fukushima Prefecture was also damaged by the tsunami and the nuclear power plant disaster.

The train, which takes up the operation of "Sendai City Rabbit" was the EMU JR East 719 series. It was launched in 1989, and a total of 84 units have been manufactured by Tokyu Sharyo and Nippon Sharyo. Fortunately, no damage was done to any of the units by the 3.11

The recovery has advanced steadily; however, we still have a lot to be done.

EMU JR East 719 series, local train bound for Matsushima, stands at Sendai Station
More information about EMU JR East 719 series (in Japanese):