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Photos: Tracking the Damage in Japan and Our Oceans After the Tsunami

August 17, 2012   |  
Water

Stiv Wilson joined an expedition organized by the  5 Gyres Institute  and Algalita Marine Research Foundation  to sail from Tokyo to Oahu to observe and study the debris field from the tsunami which struck Japan last spring. 

In a new piece on AlterNet Wilson writes of his journey: "Near Sendai, in the northern prefectures next to where the Fukushima meltdown occurred, the land was quiet, nearly deserted as the government had just opened the area ... The landscape was decimated, haunting. Here there were untold amounts of destroyed rice fields, thousands of empty house foundations, lost neighborhoods .. Streets abruptly ended at cliffs above new streams and tributaries.  Scattered everywhere were all manner of human effects: children’s stuffed animals, toys, kitchen supplies, picture-less frames.  Along the side of the road were piles and piles of debris that had been sorted by type. Things like mattresses were piled 50 feet high and a quarter mile long as well as toilets, metal, concrete, cars, wood, glass.  The constant hum of heavy equipment burning diesel could be heard as slowly, painstakingly, Japan dug out from a topography-altering catastrophe."

You can read the rest of his story here about visiting Japan and his voyage by sailboat to track the tsunami debris as it heads for distant shores, including our own. Here are his photos.

 

 

 
A boat washed ashore in Sendai, nearly 50 feet above sea level (Stiv Wilson)
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