Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Four Years Since Then

EMU JR East 205-3100 series travels on the Senseki Line (January, 2012)
Four years have passed since the 3.11 giant earthquake hit the Tohoku District of Japan.

Fortunately, there were no victims of train passengers because of the quake. The railways were saved by earthquake resistant constructions and the earthquake warning system. But, some routes are still suspended due to the damage caused by the tsunami disaster.

I visited the disaster area in January, 2012, 8 months after the earthquake. I saw that most of the trains were being operated normally at Sendai Station, but the JR East Senseki line was fully-destroyed by the giant tsunami in the section between Takagi-machi and Yamoto stations. So, passengers had to use the bus services provided by JR East. The Senseki Line is one of the main commuting arteries along in the Sendai area. Connecting Aoba-dori, the city center of Sendai, and Ishinomaki, the second largest city in Miyagi Prefecture; the total length of the route is 52 km.

On January 29th this year, JR East made a press release announcing that restoration of the Senseki Line will be completed by May 30th. The new track was constructed on the inland hill around the tsunami disaster area.

As the saying goes, "out of disaster springs fortune." I believe that people in the Tohoku District will recover from the devastating casualties, because they have good patience and a strong social bond. The recovery has advanced steadily; however, we still have a lot to do.
 EMU JR East 205-3100 series arrives at Nigatake Station on the Senseki Line (January, 2012)