The skeleton of the disaster prevention center in the town of Minami-Sanriku in Miyagi Prefecture which was hit hard by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011 has been standing there for the past two years, a stark reminder of the lives lost during the disaster. The town has finally decided to tear down the building as soon as possible.
The 42 employees who were responsible for the crisis management at the center were among the 800 residents of the town who died, or are still missing, after the tsunami ravaged the region on that fateful day of March 11, 2011. The town had wanted to preserve the remains of the building, but most of the 15,000 residents felt that it was too painful a reminder of what they had lost. There were three options presented to the town officials in August and September of last year. One was to preserve it as a memorial to those who died there trying to save the lives of the townsfolk. The second proposal was to tear down the structure, but not immediately, while the third option was to immediately raze it to the ground.
The decision was made when they determined it was much too expensive to preserve it, and also the structure could collapse anytime. They would need to submit their application to the prefectural government by the end of the month so that the costs could be covered. In another town in Miyagi, the people of Kesennuma have begun dismantling the ship that was washed inland by the tsunami. It was also originally set to be a memorial, but residents did not want to be reminded of the friends and relatives they lost in 2011.
[ via Asahi Shimbun ]