Photo by Stroud4341
The March 11 twin tragedy of an earthquake and tsunami in Japan’s Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures left the elderly hardest hit, according to a report by Kyodo News. Of those killed, 54.8 percent, or 4,990 people, were 65 or older.
In Miyagi Prefecture, 95 percent of the deaths from the disaster were attributed to drowning. Miyagi’s death count by Sunday was 8,015. By Monday evening, 13,832 deaths were confirmed in the three prefectures, but the ages of a significant number of victims had yet to be verified.
The tragedy on the northeast coast could act as a catalyst for reforms that look to offer further protections to the elderly in disasters, according to Fumihiko Imamura, a Tohoku University professor specializing in tsunami engineering.