Japan Disaster: Nobiru Devastation 2 of 2

3 years ago by in Travel

I rode up to Sendai from Tachikawa with a fellow photographer friend, Jensen Walker. Gasoline is a very scarce resource, so we had around 30 gallons of gas in portable containers in the car to make sure we could get up and back without running out.

Jensen had to meet up with a client, so I jumped out with my gear and started hitchhiking. I traveled up to some hard-hit areas, hitch-hiking from city-to-city, sleeping in abandoned buildings and digging bottles of juice out of the mud when I ran out of water to drink.

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Only the front gate remains of this house

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Nobiru kindergarten

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Portrait of Buddah hanging in a second-floor classroom in Nobiru kindergarten

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On the third-floor of Kamponyado Resort. The first-floor was destroyed, but the second-, third- and fourth-floors were in good shape.

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It appears the hotel was used as a shelter for a while, but I suppose they moved inland to escape the threat of another tsunami from the aftershocks.

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Down in the lobby I found a key for room #402 in the mud, and took a nap.

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Nobiru Fire Department

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It appears this vending machine was raided for beverages. I ran out of water, but was able to dig a half-buried, unopened bottle of some sports drink out of the mud in someone’s backyard.

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It was getting dark, and I hadn’t seen any people for a while.

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I found a bicycle and starting riding.

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I found a small shelter with about 120 people.

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Yaso-san, 65, is a building contractor who is now working as a volunteer at this little shelter. He gave me a list of hard-hit areas to visit, including Ishinomaki about 25km from Nobiru.

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These women were sleeping in a tent, but there was a house where children were staying. Lighting was supplied by a gas generator, which also permitted cooking.

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I was offered a place to sleep in this store room, but it was terribly noisy because of a gas generator running just behind the plastic wall, so I was thinking to go somewhere else–maybe back to the Kanpoyado hotel.

Two men stopped-by, looking for family members. They happened to heading to Ishinomaki, so I hitched a ride with them.

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On to Ishinomaki. I was too big to fit in the trunk with the gas cans, so the smallest guy rode in the back and I was given the front seat.

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