Les liens d’entraide du Japon

TOKYO – Le tsunami a traversé la ville à la vitesse de 8 mètres par seconde, la vitesse d’un sprinter olympique. La vague a atteint quinze mètres de haut, dépassant de loin la plus grande perche de saut. Les bateaux ont été emportés sur les collines et les voitures flottaient comme des bateaux. Après le passage de la vague, Kamaishi, la plus ancienne ville sidérurgique du Japon dans la préfecture d’Iwate, n’était plus qu’une montagne de débris. On aurait dit Tokyo après les raids aux bombes incendiaires de la Seconde guerre mondiale, ou Hiroshima et Nagasaki après les bombes atomiques.

Des scènes de dévastation similaires sont visibles dans toute la région de Tōhoku, le long de la côte de Sanriku dans le nord-est de l’archipel. Il est par exemple estimé que sur les 8000 foyers que comptait la tranquille ville rurale de Rikuzentakata (23.000 habitants), quelques 5000 foyers ont disparus dans le désastre. Les seuls bâtiments à avoir résisté sont la mairie et un supermarché. L’aéroport de Sendai, proche de la côte dans la préfecture de Miyagi, ressemble plus aujourd’hui à un port maritime.

L’énorme séisme qui a secoué la région de Tōhoku le 11 mars, de magnitude 9 sur l’échelle de Richter et dont l’épicentre était situé au large de Sanriku, est le plus important de l’histoire connue du Japon. Le nombre de victimes devrait dépasser 23.000 morts et le montant des dégâts avoisiner les 25 mille milliards de yen.

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