Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Japan: Search for bodies finally begins in tsunami-hit part of City

ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi -- A search for the bodies of victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami finally began in the Nagatsura district here on Oct. 8, using heavy machinery to dig up an area where 80 people including 74 children died and 23 people are still missing.

The area had been flooded and couldn't be drained with pumps because of lowered ground from the disaster and the loss of water-breaking forests, but the completion in June of a 1.3 kilometer embankment allowed it to be drained. One-hundred and six hectares will be searched through March next year.

On the first day of the search, around 30 people including prefectural police officers from Kahoku Police Station and city education board employees participated, using power shovels and manually digging.

Police officer Akihiko Sato, 46, said, "We will search without overlooking a single bone fragment and return the bodies to their families as soon as possible." Source