After the Quake: The Town That Was Washed AwayDavid McNeill
It was once a family house in this northeastern corner of Miyagi Prefecture. Mum would have cooked dinner on the kitchen stove. Children may have played video games in the front room, facing the Pacific Ocean. Now all that's left of the house is its bare concrete base and a few scattered belongings: the shreds of a kimono and a child's schoolbag.
Like almost everything else in this town of 17,666 people, it was washed into the sea. "The water was ten meters high," recalls Koichi Tsuto, who like many who evacuated on short notice watched in horror from the safety of surrounding mountains as last Friday's tsunami roared into Minami Sanriku and swept everything he had into a giant muddy deluge. "It was like a mountain of water," he says, eyes widening. Beside him, his wife Fujiko looks shattered, defeated. They have come to see if there is anything left and come away empty-handed.
Posted March 14, 2011.