Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Once-familiar Places

The Iwate-Miyagi Earthquake has caused some astonishing damage to the area, although much less loss of life than it would have done had it been in a less sparsely settled area.

Once again, the scenes of devastation disturb me by more than their intrinsic shock value. Many years ago, when I had more vacation time per year, and more free time generally, I spent quite a lot of time driving and camping around Iwate and Miyagi, including the areas where the recent quake struck. I don't remember exactly, but I believe it's very likely that I stayed in the hot spring inn that's been shown on the news, crushed from two floors into one, and half pushed/washed away. Pictures on the news of what it used to look like certainly seemed familiar.

I almost certainly drove on most of the roads that are shown broken into fragments among the crumbled mountains.

It's a very strange feeling, seeing what was once familiar turned nearly instantly into utterly strange, broken present reality.

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