Impact of historic tsunami lingers in Japan 5 years later

CCTV News

Impact of historic tsunami lingers in Japan 5 years later1

It has been five years since a devastating earthquake and tsunami rocked Japan. The cost of the disaster, both in terms of lives and money, is still being counted. 

Images of the tsunami are burned into the psyche of people in Japan.  The world watched in real time as a 10-meter wave tore through coastal towns and cities.  

Everything in its path was swallowed up or washed away, including the Fukushima nuclear plant. Some 80 percent of that plant’s radioactive material has spilled into the sea.

Scientists predict the area around the plant, both on land and in the water, could be uninhabitable for at least the next generation.

People want to get a better sense of what life is like for the people who lived in the affected areas.  CCTV’s Terrence Terrashima visits one of the survivors of the tsunami to find out how his life has changed.

Impact of historic tsunami lingers in Japan 5 years later

Impact of historic tsunami lingers in Japan 5 years later

It has been five years since a devastating earthquake and tsunami rocked Japan. The cost of the disaster, both in terms of lives and money, is still being counted. CCTV's Terrence Terrashima visits one of the survivors of the tsunami to find out how his life has changed.

“Nothing has changed,” said Ko Sato, who lived all his life in this coastal town. He lost his house and liquor store when Minami-Sanriku was swept by waves of tsunami, 12 meters (almost 40 feet) high.

Five years on, very little has progressed, only the debris has changed to piles of sands.  It will be years until the coastal cities are properly rebuilt.

Sato, and his son expect to continue living and running his business out of temporary housing for years.

The city of Miniami-Sanriku was devastated by a huge Tsunami, so high that it engulfed the municipal building.

One of the reasons that the reconstruction and recovery work is going slowly is because the ground has to be raised by 10 to 20 meters (32-65 feet) before they can start rebuilding the city.

The Reconstruction Agency says it is hoping to complete 70 to 80 percent of housing and infrastructure by the end of 2016.  

Many of the fisheries and related industries have recovered but many others have not.

Experts fear that it will be a decade until these cities are rebuilt to its full capacity. 


Chris Goldfinger on legacy of the Fukushima nuclear disaster

CCTV America’s Mike Walter spoke to Chris Goldfinger about long term effect of the tsunami. He studies oceans and earthquakes at Oregon State University.

Chris Goldfinger on legacy of the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Chris Goldfinger on legacy of the Fukushima nuclear disaster

CCTV America's Mike Walter spoke to Chris Goldfinger about long term effect of the tsunami. He studies oceans and earthquakes at Oregon State University.