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FROM THE ARCHIVES: It still feels as if it happened yesterday, says tsunami survivor

This story first appeared in The Straits Times on March 10, 2012

Published on Mar 11, 2014 5:48 PM

ISHINOMAKI (Miyagi prefecture) - Mrs Masako Karino cannot bring herself to return to what is left of Okawa Elementary School.

The battered shell of the school lies about 3km down the valley from her home, along the Kitakami River, and was where both her children died on March 11, 2011, when they were engulfed by the tsunami.

The area where she lives with her husband Tatsuhiro and his parents was spared the destruction of the waves and, coated in snow, is pristine. Closer to the river, where the tsunami breached the protective dyke, none of the homes or farm buildings there withstood its force.

Mrs Karino, 39, says the fact that everything around her seems the same as it always was makes her loss even harder to come to terms with.

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