Onagawa’s numbing misery began with Friday’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake out at sea but was then amplified by its topography: Steep hills on either side of town funneled the tsunami into the main business and residential district, pushing the wave to more than three times the height seen elsewhere.
This quote, from a Washington Post article, March 15, 2011, describes the impact of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on the small fishing town of Onagawa. Today, the articles describe the natural disaster as responsible for wiping out half the town and a death toll of approximately 5,700 people. Onagawa, with a population mostly made up of fisherman and cannery workers, will take years to rebuild.
It is with no small surprise that Onagawa is the town Steveston has adopted, and for which the charitable walk around the historic village was organized. On Sunday, more than 7,000 people gathered here to show their support and help aid the rebuilding of this similar fishing town across the Pacific.
Over $80,000 was raised. “Just a few thousand shy of 100,000$,” said Jim Kojima (president of the Steveston Community Society and organizer of the charitable walk) this morning. Kojima is planning to make a trip to Japan and deliver the money personally.
- Read the Washington Post article about the state of Onagawa, Japan
- Read the Richmond Review’s article about Steveston’s charitable walk.
- Read the Nelson Star article about how the town of Nelson is also helping Onagawa.