People in March 2011 Disaster Areas Vow to Pass Down Lessons

Society Lifestyle

Miyako/Ishinomaki/Soma/Tomioka, March 11 (Jiji Press)--Events to mourn victims of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami were held in the Tohoku northeastern Japan region Thursday, which marked 10 years of the disaster, with people renewing their resolve to pass down memories and lessons from the catastrophe.

At 2:46 p.m. (5:46 a.m. GMT), the exact time when the 9.0-magnitude March 11 quake struck 10 years ago, bereaved family members and others offered silent prayers for the victims. The quake and tsunami left 15,900 people dead and 2,525 people missing, and triggered an unprecedented triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station.

On a coastal levee in the Taro district of the city of Miyako in Iwate Prefecture, some 600 people, including those who lost their loved ones in the disaster, as well as local elementary and junior high school students, prayed for victims.

They refrained from holding hands amid the new coronavirus crisis, and instead released 181 balloons, the same number as that of people in the district who died or went missing in the disaster, into the air. The balloons carried messages to the victims.

With a photograph of his grandmother in his hands, Hidetaka Yamamoto, 44, said, "I want her to watch over from heaven forever my daughter born in the year of the disaster."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press