5 years later, the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami

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Five Years Later

Five Years Later

On March 11th, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the coast of Tohoku, changing the countless number of lives in Japan and the rest of the world. With nearly 16,000 dead or missing, and another two to three thousand injured, the effects of the earthquake were massive to say the least. Other countries were affected with some massive waves or debris from Japan. Power was lost in the majority of the country, and every effort was made to protect the people of Japan affected. It's been 5 years since the earthquake and tsunami, but not everything is back to normal.

The Good

While the damage caused by the tsunami are still felt to this day, there are still people trying to help out the citizens who's lives were turned upside down. From across Japan all the way to the United States and more, people did what they could to help. From going directly to Japan to volunteer to high school students getting involved, it seemed everyone was stepping up to do their part. With many fundraisers and donations, everyone tried helping in whatever ways they could. While many would expect the Japanese in cities that were the most affected to be shy, on guard, or reserved, we find the opposite in these strong people. There is still a sense of hope, kindness, and children smiling years after the disaster while rebuilding efforts are being made.

From Coast to Coast

One of the most touching stories comes from Crescent City, California, a little-known fishing town close to the border of Oregon. After a rouge fishing boat was found on the shores of Crescent City's beach, local students of Del-Norte High School cleaned the boat up and discovered it belonged to Takata High school in the Iwate Prefecture. The boat was returned to Takata High School, and now a sister-city/school program has been set up. This isn't the first time a boat has washed ashore on the coasts of the United States. A boat found in Hawaii turned out to belong to a family in Japan and was returned to the rightful owners.

Photo courtesy of Tomodachi.org of Del-Norte High School students on Takata High School's fishing boat Kamone.

The Good

The Bad

Of course, there are still many negative repercussions to the disaster. There are still thousands waiting for their homes to be rebuilt, who lost their families, and who haven't gotten over the pain caused by the tsunami. There has been an increase in suicide since the disaster (a phenomena not uncommon after a large natural disaster in Japan). Some attribute this to the combination of a lack of stigma against suicide in Japan compared to other modern countries and the guilt those who escaped alive must feel. Likewise, there are reports of taxi drivers who could possibly be suffering PTSD, picking up Ghost Riders in areas hit by the tsunami.

The Future

No matter how we look at the aftermath of the tsunami, it's good to know that there are still groups like Tomodachi and independent volunteers working to help fix the damage caused by the tsunami. No matter how bad things may get, it is assuring to know that during a disaster, the rest of the world can come together to spread a little kindness and hope for the world.

Here's a great video by the Republic Polytechnic of Singapore showing the aftermath of the tsunami after 5 years:

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