Tags: tsunami | ship | dismantled

Tsunami Ship Sitting Inland After 2011 to Be Dismantled in Japan

Image: Tsunami Ship Sitting Inland After 2011 to Be Dismantled in Japan

Tuesday, 13 Aug 2013 04:42 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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A ship swept inland during the 2011 tsunami in Japan will be torn down and removed, the city where it sits, Kesennuma, has decided.

Water two stories high from the tsunami stranded the 350-ton fishing boat, the Kyotokumaru, pushing it 800 yards into a Kesennuma residential district, wrote The Associated Press. The tsunami littered smaller vessels all across the town.

The ship's presence created sharp debate in the coastal Japanese city on whether to keep it as a monument or get rid of it because it represented a painful reminder.

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"When I walk by it every morning, my heart aches," said Yoshimi Abe, a 72-year-old housewife, told the AP. "It's just a constant reminder of the terrible disaster."

In contrast, Shigeru Saito, 80, said, "My son owns a store in the temporary market near Kyotokumaru. Many of his customers are out-of-town visitors who drop by to see the ship," he said.

BBC News reported that last week the majority of the city residents voted to have the ship broken up for scrap.

"Our city has decided to demolish the vessel since nearly 70 percent of residents did not want to preserve it," a local official told the Agence-France Presse news agency, wrote BBC News.

The BBC said Kesennuma Mayor Shigeru Sugawara expressed disappointment that the boat, which he said was a "visible symbol of what happened here," would be destroyed.

The ship is set to be taken apart in a few weeks.

Reuters reported in 2011 that the ship created a "surreal landscape" among the smashed convenience stores and houses surrounded by toppled cars and crumbling concrete that punctuated the sheer power of the tsunami.

The Kyotokumaru is surrounded by bouquets of flowers, left by people who pray and take photos.

Many places in the tsunami-hit region remain untouched. The AP said that some areas will be ghost towns for years because of the radiation from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant that went into multiple meltdowns.

The Fukushima fishing company, which owns the Kyotokumaru, hired a nonprofit organization that recycles ships to do the job of dismantling the huge vessel.

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Related stories:

Tsunami-Lake Waves Swept 30 Spots Along East Coast, New Jersey Shore

India's Flood Missing Nears 6,000 in Worst Disaster Since 2004 Tsunami

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