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  • 津波到達から引き波、そして爪痕まで…南三陸町・歌津住民の記録

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    Tsunami surging to Minamisanriku town of Utatsu area (Footage provided by viewer)
    The Japanese text is followed by an English translation.

    Footage: Capture of the tsunami attacking Minamisanriku town of Motoyoshi district, Miyagi prefecture. (Formerly Utatsu town) Footage was recorded by Mr. Katsuya Oikawa who used to run a local barber shop.
    About 20 minutes after the earthquake occurred, Mr. Oikawa began recording with his video camera from above Utatsu-oohashi bridge near its eastern edge on National Route 45 (Utatsu bypass) that runs east-west across town facing Isatomae bay.
    At past 3:15 p.m. the camera captures the tides that gradually come into the bay.
    At about 3:20 p.m. silhouettes of those anxiously gazing at the bay are witnessed near the embankment on the northern side of the bridge.
    Minutes later, however, the situation changes completely. The waves increase water level and intensity, instantly overflowing from the embankment. Sensing danger in this abnormal situation, Mr. Oikawa rushes up to a higher place by the bypass in a flurry.
    Rapid currents surge into the town, sweeping away houses one by one. An unbelievable situation arises while Mr. Oikawa and others are fixated on watching the areas around the bridge on the west side. From behind the group, on the eastern side of the bridge, torrents appeared unexpectedly. Next to the startled group, merely 1m below, waves pass by readily. The bypass transforms into a giant waterway flowing east to west, steadily covering the Utatsu-oohashi bridge with sea water.
    Astonished, Mr. Oikawa and the group evacuate to higher ground, but find out that the sea surface has already claimed areas near Isatomae Elementary School on a hill in a northern area of town. “It’s completely destroyed,” a grievous voice echoes in the air. At about 3:30 p.m. the waves turn into a backwash, carrying buildings in the direction of the bay as they crash into obstacles such as the bridge. Creating tremendous noise, they are destroyed to pieces. By 3:45 p.m. the waves have gone and Mr. Oikawa comes down from the hill, walking around areas in town and recording the damage situation on camera.

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