ENTERTAINMENT | Travel News

How we survived the tsunami?

By RONISH KUMAR Twenty-one months after the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE), the people of Japan are still picking-up the pieces deep in their heart. Having lost numerous loved ones,
23 Dec 2012 10:58

Students from Team Samoa KIZUNA performing during the farewell.

By RONISH KUMAR

Twenty-one months after the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE), the people of Japan are still picking-up the pieces deep in their heart.
Having lost numerous loved ones, the Japanese remember the devastation of 3-11 (March, 2011) disaster as it happened.
Students of the KIZUNA Fiji group met Hashime Seto, the leader of Riyoshi Town, one of the many badly affected areas in Iwate Prefecture.
“It was about 2pm when we felt the tremors of the earthquake and got the tsunami warnings,” Mr Seto said.
“After telling everyone to move to higher grounds, I stayed back to document the event for future generations with my video camera.”
He said warnings of only a three-metre tsunami was broadcasted and many people failed to take heed because they relied on the break wall that was constructed to keep them safe.
Mr Seto said the adults had panicked during the disaster but it was the school children who played a critical role as they knew what to do during disasters from lessons taught in classroom.
“The first wave was about 10 metres high; it destroyed the water break wall and came over. As it was receding, another 25-metre wave came in. That was the one that destroyed everything in its path.
“It came swiftly, ravaged everything in its way and moved about 10 kilometres inland. Many scientists have predicted that this was the biggest in a thousand years,” he said.
He added that the school children were to be commended for their efforts because they followed the instructions given to them.
“The children and people in evacuation centres used newspapers as their blankets and sat close to each other for warmth to survive the cold climate of March. The relief supplies in some areas came almost after a week because of the collapse of transportation.”
He said there were 230 households before the tsunami but now there were only 10 left. The rest were destroyed by the vicious waves.
“I think we should not rely on modern technologies such as early warning systems or water break walls. It is important to learn from the wisdom of people from the past who have suffered.
“No one can protect you from any disaster; it is you who can protect yourself. No one can win over nature’s power,” Mr Seto said.
Meanwhile, Fiji’s contestant Esther Cheyanne Foss to Miss Earth in Philippines was also part of the KIZUNA Fiji group.
Miss Foss who won the Most Efficient Teacher at the contest was overwhelmed after Mr Seto’s talk.
She said traditional knowledge was important in this era.
“We sometimes think we know more but there are many people with experience and we have to learn from the ancestors,” Miss Foss said.
“We should not take warnings likely and we need to be prepared always.”




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