Okawa Japan



Keywords: japan, ishinomaki, tsunami, earthquake, 2011 disaster, rebuilding
Description: More than 3 1/2 years after a 50-foot tsunami rushed up the Kitagami River, inundating houses and farms and destroying everything in its path, the road to this city's port remains unusable.

More than 3 1/2 years after a 50-foot tsunami rushed up the Kitagami River, inundating houses and farms and destroying everything in its path, the road to this city's port remains unusable. Farmland, tainted by a massive influx of seawater, is still being restored. Hundreds of people remain in shabby temporary housing, with no exit in sight.

The only business that really seems to be booming is what is being called "disaster" tourism related to the magnitude 9 earthquake of March 11, 2011. Unending streams of visitors arrive here seeking a glimpse of the devastation zone.

The hardest-hit areas in this once-picturesque coastal area have lost of a third of their population, according to some calculations. Yet many visitors are attracted to the area where 74 of the 108 students at Okawa Elementary School died; some even deem the latter site a psychic hot spot.

As Japan continues its slow crawl back from the devastation, Ishinomaki, and its Okawa district in particular, is among the places struggling the most.

Nationwide, more than 93,000 people still live in temporary housing, according to government statistics. In the Okawa district, which has about 2,300 residents, about 200 families remain in temporary housing.




Photogallery Okawa Japan:



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