March 6, 2012: One year ago this month, on March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake that triggered a deadly 23-foot tsunami in the country’s north. The giant waves deluged cities and rural areas alike, sweeping away cars, homes, buildings, a train, and boats, leaving a path of death and devastation in its wake. According to the official toll, the disasters left 15,839 dead and 3,647 missing.
As a result of the earthquake, cooling systems in one of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in the Fukushima prefecture on the east coast of Japan failed shortly after the earthquake, causing a nuclear crisis.
I had just visited Kyoto, well south of the tsunami, in February 2011, just one month prior. In March, during the time of the disaster, I had left Korea for good and was traveling in India.
I had fallen in love with the country and its people. My heart went out to Japan, a culture that values order and cleanliness, as they had to recover from a disaster of such proportions. A sad time for a lovely culture.
Peace be with you, Japan, on the one year anniversary of this horrible disaster.