The 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake-A Year On

Rising Sun

158,50 deaths, 6,011 injured and 3,287 people missing.

And that’s just the human cost of the Great Tohoku Earthquake.

Eighteen prefectures, 24 to 25 million tons of debris and an estimated reconstruction bill totaling 25 billion USD later, combined with a near-meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant-this seems like the most perfect disaster Mother Nature has ever planned.

I’ve lost no family members or dear ones in this tragedy, but as I watched the waves swallow up towns and people into its murky bowels on March 11, my heart sank. The waves were not pounding on the shores of a far-off and distant land, they were pounding on a country dear to me. A country whose culture and people have given me meaning and happiness. And here I was, stuck with no way of helping out directly. The news made me numb and so did the resulting costs of this disaster.

But as this first anniversary turns into a second, a tenth or a fiftieth one, let’s not forget the resilience and determination shown by the survivors of this earthquake and tsunami. Let’s not forget that behind all the headlines of a nuclear Armageddon at Fukushima, there lies a deeper and more important human wound to heal. Let us not demonise nuclear power mercilessly based on emotion and over-reaction but on hard, scientific facts.

And last but most important of all, let us support and encourage our fellow human beings in rebuilding their lives from the ashes.


Further Reading:

Remembering the International Media’s Post-Fukushima Hysteria (biased, but provides an insight into the media’s response)

Japan Times-A Year On, Tohoku Stuck in Limbo

[Any thoughts on the Tohoku Earthquake, the Fukushima incident and the response towards them both? Please share your thoughts down below, I’d like to hear them.]


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