Sunday, 20 May 2012

History repeating

Last week I bought a book while in Iwate about a tsunami in the region 116 years ago. It reproduces a report from the time, complete with the contemporary drawings. Apart from the lack of cars, how similar it looks – some images drawn from the safety of high ground just as we saw the video footage of the March 11, 2011 tsunami. Other images of damaged streets could have been from last year. The images of drowning people are all that we watching on our TVs didn't see in close-up and were left to imagine last year. Not so for those there and who had loved ones washed from their grip. (Above: two images from the book and a similar screen grab from last year.)

After last year's quake, I learned of this similar tsunami in the same area in 1896. Seems like those who built the power station and claimed the tsunami was a once in a thousand year event, hadn't done their research. Yet the 1896 one was also even covered internationally pre-2011 quake in National Geographic magazine. History repeats.

No comments: