April 17, 2011

Still Looking Like the Aftermath

(All photos taken on April 16, 2011.)

 A little over a month after the earthquake, the mayor of Urayasu has announced that most of its people finally have their electricity, water, and sewage systems back. The operative word is "most" -- imagine being one of dozens of people still doing without the basic modern necessities, while one street over, people are leading more or less normal lives!

It's been interesting to see which public areas and buildings have been prioritized for reconstruction, but it's surprisingly difficult to discern the logic behind it. The main stairs leading to the train station are still roped off, and people have been using the side slope, which ended in a pile of sand and rocks until it was finally paved last Friday. Across the street from the station is the area in the first photo, where a phone booth is still standing, despite it being in danger of tipping over. The aftershocks are mild here, but slightly larger and the damage would undo all the work done after the quake.


Despite the perilous-looking foundation, this restaurant recently resumed operations. The apartment building next door faces a similar situation, but what a one-story can handle, a five-floor building cannot. I saw people gathering their belongings in garbage bags, ready to move somewhere safer.
An entrance to a local juku (cram school) is crammed with generators and Sodium-sulfur batteries. God forbid the kids are given a reprieve from relentless memorizing.

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