发布者: katy | 发布时间: 2011-3-17 14:49| 查看数: 2003| 评论数: 0|

When a giant tsunami of more than 10 meters high crashed into the shores of this quiet fishing village Friday, hundreds, if not thousands, of its residents were swept away.

With hardly a building now standing in the town's lower basin, Minamisanriku is the focal point of the devastation on Japan's northeastern coast. Nearly half of its 17,000 residents are missing. Those who aren't among the 1,000 people already identified as dead are holed up in cold and chaotic evacuation centers.

Concrete foundations are proof that homes once stood in Minamisanriku. The large office buildings that remain standing are hollowed out, except for the piles of debris washed into shattered windows and doorways.

Local residents walk through the rubble, wide-eyed. Sifting through two-story high mounds of metal siding, logs and snapped power lines, they scrutinize their post-apocalyptic landscape for sign of hope.

'They're probably gone,' 65-year-old Yumiko Yamauchi said of her two older sisters. Her back is slightly hunched, her legs wobbly legs. She uses a golf club with a sawed-off head as an improvised cane.

Together with her son and her two grandchildren, Ms. Yamauchi has already gone to all six of the town's major evacuation centers in search of her sisters. Her last hope, she says, is to comb the area near where she thinks the house once stood. She sighed. 'There is nothing left,' she said. 'There is no way they could have survived.'

She said she hasn't cried. There is a Japanese phrase shoganai, 'it can't be helped.'

'It seems strange to say shoganai with something like this, but that's just the way I feel. Shoganai,' said Ms. Yamauchi, climbing the steep stairs back up to her house on the mountain, each step supported by her golf-club cane.

On this day in Minamisanriku, where salmon- and seaweed-farming are the staple industries, there were no happy endings.

While 32-year-old Mika Endo was reunited with her mother yesterday, she has also learned that her husband's parents are probably both dead. Clutching her two-year-old son Soma, fidgety in the cold, she looks with her mother for family photos in the mud and wreckage of the home where she grew up.

Ms. Endo and her husband identified her father-in-law in one of Minamisanriku's makeshift morgues. 'An acquaintance of mine saw my mother-in-law get washed away,' Ms. Endo recounted. She said the body has yet to be found.

Tomoko Haga, another resident of the area, spent three nights stranded with her elderly in-laws on the second floor of her home in a neighboring town. Exhausted, the 56-year-old Ms. Haga made her way through the debris on her way to the evacuation center to look for her 89-year-old mother and 52-year-old brother.

Her in-laws refused to flee as tsunami warnings sounded, she said. She says the family fled upstairs to avoid the rushing waters. As they waited, stranded, Ms. Haga said she would hear the helicopters of Japan's Self Defense Forces. She says she waved frantically but they didn't come.

Eventually, thanks to a neighbor who pleaded with them to find Ms. Haga's family, the helicopters arrived. Ms. Haga's parents-in-law were too weak to leave on their own were airlifted out. Ms. Haga says her blood pressure plunged from the stress of the ordeal, and she went unconscious.

A day later, wearing five sweaters, she is walking amid Minamisanrika's rubble, looking for her mother and brother, who live a few hundred meters from the water. 'I am very, very worried,' she said.

On higher land, the town has turned the Bayside Super Arena, a 900-seat sports and entertainment facility opened in 1998, into the main evacuation center and morgue. The arena's dim corridors overflow; 800 people shelter here.

In one corner of the lobby area, 200 mostly elderly people wait in line to see a doctor for prescription medicine. The line started gathering hours before the announced medicine-distribution time. One woman collapsed and needed to be wheeled to the infirmary, located in a weightlifting room where exercise machines have been pushed aside to let patients rest on mats.

For the first time since the earthquake struck, the town got phone service and laid out eight phones. Each person was allowed a single one-minute call.

In the entrance way, officials had a list of 60 deceased. All but three had been identified by the police, using their wallets or other forms of ID. One unidentified body, the list said, was a woman between 40 years old and 60 years old. She was found on the west side of a local retirement home in an apron, carrying a mobile phone with a Snoopy strap.

A couple in their 50s pored over the list. The man looked down the names and then said flatly, 'there it is.' He walked over to a young male staff member and said: 'We found a name on the list.'

The young man appeared confused. 'You found what?' he asked.

The man leaned into his wife, and said: 'I found a name of the death list.' He was whisked away to a back room.


Daisuke Wakabayashi/The Wall Street JournalMika Endo抱着两岁大的儿子寻找婆婆的消息。南三陆町海拔较低,几乎没有建筑物留存下来,成为日本东北部沿海重灾区的焦点。这里的1.7万居民中,近一半失踪,1000人已经被确认死亡,剩下的人则栖身于寒冷混乱的疏散中心。



65岁的山内由美子(Yumiko Yamauchi)说自己的两个姐姐可能已经死了。她稍有驼背,双腿颤抖,用一根一端被锯短的高尔夫球棒作简易手杖。





Associated Press宫城县南三陆町海啸过后的废墟。昨天,32岁的Mika Endo和她的母亲团聚,她还得知她的公公婆婆可能都死了。Endo抱着在严寒中瑟瑟发抖的两岁大的儿子Soma,和母亲一起在泥浆和从小长大的老屋的废墟中寻找家庭照片。


该地区另一位居民芳贺芝子(Tomoko Haga)与年迈的公婆一起,在附近一个镇的家中第二层被困了三个夜晚。56岁的芳贺芝子拖着疲惫的身子走出废墟,准备到疏散中心去寻找自己89岁的母亲和52岁的弟弟。




高地上是海滨超级运动场(Bayside Super Arena),它1998年开业,是一个有900个座位的体育兼娱乐设施。这里已经被用作主要疏散中心兼停尸房。体育馆阴暗的走廊里挤满了人,里面有800人避难。








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