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Japan beyond 3.11 Stories of Recovery

GREAT EAST JAPAN EARTHQUATE PROJECT NHK WORLD

Lessons from a Tragedy: A Failed Evacuation

Aired: September 15, 2011
Okawa Elementary School in the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, lost 74 of 108 children in the massive tsunami of March 11. The school had started preparations to evacuate soon after the earthquake and 50 minutes before the tsunami arrived. Still, so many children were engulfed in the rushing water as they hurried to higher ground. Why were so many lost? What has to be done to prevent such a tragedy from happening again? Through an investigation of the events that day, we document the unfolding tragedy and look for clues to better protection for children in a disaster.
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