Friday, March 13, 2015

Fourth Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake

        On March 11 in 2011, the huge earthquakes hit Northern Japan. This year is the fourth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. I watched Japanese news related the earthquake this week and knew the fact of tragedy. 15,891 people were killed by the earthquake and tsunami, and 2,584 people are still missing. 228,863 people are living away from their home because of that.

       I watched TV about the memorial service for the Great East Japan Earthquake. In the memorial service, one of survivors of the earthquake shared her experience of the day. I was really moved by her speech and thought that I would like to share her experience with you.

      She was still 15 year old on the day the earthquake hit Northern Japan. She attended her graduation ceremony that day. After she came back home from the ceremony, her family of five was staying and relaxing at home. All of sudden, they were struck by the strong earthquake, and the whole her family was swept away by the massive tsunami. After a little while, she was able to reach on a mass of rubble. Then, she heard someone's voice from underneath and found that was her mother, who was badly injured, in the debris. She tried to pull her mother from wreckage with all her strength. However, her mother's right leg was trapped under incredibly heavy debris, and she was not able to help her out. She strongly wanted to help her mother but had to leave there because she would be swept away and die if she stayed there. Her mother said to her, "don't go". She told her mother, "I love you. Thank you mom". Then, she swam toward the elementary school. It's been four years since this happened. It was very hard for her to accept this tragedy at age 15. Indeed, she has cried by thinking about her late family over and over again. She still couldn't believe what happened that day. However, since the earthquake, she has seen so many people who have been making a great effort for post-quake recovery. People have supported and encouraged each other. She was able to think that she would like to move forward with her life. The loved ones her lost by the earthquake will never come back, and she thinks that the sadness will not leave survivors completely. However, she decided to live a forward-looking life for her late family.

       I got sad thinking about how difficult she has gone through for the past four years. Even though I would never truly understand her sadness, I thought that giving up her mother was extraordinarily difficult decision for her.

       This YouTube video was recorded on March 11 in 2011.

      Today's Vocabulary
wreckage 【rékidʒ】: noun : 漂流物, 壊された物の残骸

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