‘Miracle pine’ preserved as tsunami reminder
  • Wednesday, January 16, 2019
  • 78°


‘Miracle pine’ preserved as tsunami reminder


    The “miracle pine” stands near the former Rikuzentakata Youth Hostel in Rikuzentakata, Japan. The tree survived the 2011 tsunami.


RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan >> A pine tree that survived the 2011 tsunami stands at the mouth of the Kawaharagawa river on a spot that was inundated following the Great East Japan Earthquake, which caused land to sink and other damage to the area. It was dubbed a “miracle pine tree.” Sitting nearby is the former Rikuzentakata Youth Hostel, which still looks as it did when the disaster hit. The building is planned to be preserved as a reminder of the disaster.

A huge sea wall 12.5 meters high, about 50 meters wide and stretching about 2 kilometers is being built along the coast.

On the ocean side of the wall, efforts are in progress to revive certain scenery ruined by the tsunami — a grove of pine trees once known as Takata Matsubara and a white-sand beach. On the land side, a project to create a disaster reconstruction memorial park has begun.

In the distance, buildings can be seen on a hill that was created by raising ground levels. The pine tree watches over the “new town” that is gradually appearing.

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