Japan Marks 9th Anniversary of March 2011 Disaster

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, March 11 (Jiji Press)--Japan marked the ninth anniversary of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami on Wednesday, with many family members of victims determined to pass on lessons from the catastrophe that hit mainly northeastern regions of the country.

Many people gathered to offer flowers at Kamaishi Memorial Park in the city of Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture. At the park, a siren sounded to begin a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m. (5:46 a.m. GMT), exactly nine years from when the 9.0-magnitude quake struck on March 11, 2011.

"Nine years seems a long time, yet it also seems like an instant," 19-year-old university student Saki Wada, who lost her mother in the tsunami, said. "I hope that my mother is watching over me."

The park was constructed on the remains of a disaster prevention center, where many people lost their lives. The names of 1,001 people killed in the city adorn a cenotaph that stands at the center of the park.

In the city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, families of the 74 children and 10 faculty members of now-defunct Okawa Elementary School who were swept away by the tsunami gathered at the school site to offer prayers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press