Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
Three minute after the calamitous Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake strike on 11 March 2011 (14:46hrs), Tsunami Keiho (津波警報 / Tsunami Warning) was issued to regions facing the Pacific Ocean. Prefectures such as Iwate (岩手県), Miyagi (宮城県) and Fukushima (福島県) in particular, were addressed with red-blinking major tsunami warnings.
My MIL and I glued to the news as we were recovering from the tremors. Video footage showed various coastal communities going about their everyday business, totally unsuspecting, unnaturally peaceful and calm. It was so unnerving that I kept asking my MIL tons of questions… Why aren’t they evacuating? Do they know about the Tsunami warnings? Is there no one to alert them? How much time left? (I raved on…) My MIL, instead of answering all my dumb questions, was shouting “Nigero” (逃げろ/escape) repeatedly at the top of her lungs, somewhat hoping that the people living close to the northeastern shoreline could hear her.
Minutes mercilessly ticked by. In less than half an hour, time ran out. All of a sudden, the news began to be packed with panic-filled visuals. As the people caught a glimpse of the colossal wave approaching, they started running frantically away from the sea. Evacuees in cars or trucks find themselves trapped in jammed roads. We (and the rest of the nation from miles away,) as well as a handful of survivors who managed to flee to higher ground in time, watched in horror as the giant killer wave (over 10 meter tall) gushed through, displaying its massive destructive force. It outran people and swallowed them alive. Buildings were torn apart, or completely ripped out of place. Vehicles and boats slammed onto one another as though they were toys.
I was completely stunned, and at a loss for word. It was simply too cruel to watch on. Totally unreal, like a bad dream. The surges from the Tsunami left a path of debris as far as 10 kilometers inland! Over 500 km (!!!) of the northeast shorelines from Aomori to Chiba are now wastelands. Homes, families, lives… wiped out instantly. The towns were defenseless against the monstrous wave. No one see it coming, nor were they able to predict this scale of catastrophe. Absolutely heartbreaking.