Onagawa is a town heavily damaged in the 11 March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The tsunami reached 15 metres (49 ft) in height and swept 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) inland, destroying the town centre and leaving over 1000 people missing, with over 300 confirmed dead. [via wiki]

Grace Mission Tohoku brought us to see Onagawa’s bay.  The tsunami’s power became real once we arrived — even though the devastation has already all been cleared away, one building remains toppled on its side:

2012-10-17 10.47.04

This is the bottom of the building:

2012-10-17 11.04.23

2012-10-17 11.00.20

Looking out to the blue sea, it was chilling imagining the uncontrollable tsunami rushing in.

2012-10-17 10.51.08

2012-10-17 10.50.42

Temporary shelter

The next day, our team had the wonderful privilege to prepare simple Japanese chicken dinners for the temporary shelter residents.  I’m always to happy food can bring smiles to people’s hearts.

2012-10-17 16.28.46

2012-10-17 17.17.17

The obachans helping with the last preparations!  It was quite fun not understanding what they were saying the whole time!

2012-10-17 17.32.28

Kadonowaki elementary school

From what I understand, the school building was destroyed first by the tsunami and then by the burning and crashing rubble.  The school remains untouched and has not yet reopened.

2012-10-17 11.41.33

All these pictures of the devastation remind me to keep praying for the recovery process among the residents, and for the relief efforts to continue!

…continued in Part 3!

Categories: travel