Welcoming Mr. Nduna and other visitors to Shizugawa, one of three ports that comprise Minami-Sanriku town, was Rev. Tatsuo NAKAZAWA.
Rev. Nakazawa, who pastors a church in Sendai and sits as one of the directors of Tohoku HELP, has dedicated most of his time since last March to the care of Shizugawa residents.
Like many communities along this coast, Minami-Sanriku had a strong tsunami warning system. Even so, no one was prepared for last year’s surge, which reached depths of 40 meters in some places due to the area’s cul-de-sac landscape.
In Shizugawa the tidal wave destroyed 80% of buildings—residential and commercial. This has left the majority of people with no home, no place to work and very little to pin their hopes on.
Staff of Minami-Sanriku town’s Disaster Prevention Center, which stood at the center of Shizugawa’s commercial district, valiantly warned residents to evacuate until the tsunami struck. Waters rose above the top of the building and took all but three of their lives.
(David McIntosh, NCC-JEDRO staff)