Remains of Tsunami-Damaged Fukushima School Opened to Public

Society Lifestyle

Namie, Fukushima Pref., Oct. 24 (Jiji Press)--The remains of a tsunami-ravaged elementary school in Fukushima Prefecture that were preserved to pass on lessons from and memories of the March 2011 disaster were opened to public viewing on Sunday.

The building of Ukedo Elementary School in the town of Namie became the first such preserved disaster-hit structure in the northeastern Japan prefecture.

The first floor of the school building, located about 300 meters from the Pacific coast, was flooded by the huge tsunami of over 15 meters, unleashed by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011. Ninety-five schoolchildren and other people fled the building for refuge.

On the first floor of the building, traces of the disaster, including bare steel beams, are left untouched. In second-floor classrooms, items including panels that explain disaster damage are on display.

About 30 people, including the Fukushima governor and the Namie mayor, offered a prayer for victims of the disaster during an opening ceremony. A traditional rice planting dance was performed by Wakana Yokoyama and others.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press