Tokyo Podcast 25: Stories of Recovery

On March 11, 2011 a powerful magnitude 9 earthquake struck off the north east coast of Japan. The earthquake triggered a massive tsunami that flowed up to 6 miles inland killing over 15,000 people and destroying over 125,000 homes and buildings. On this special anniversary episode I bring you four stories of survival and recovery from the 2011 Great Tohoku Japan Earthquake.

Isaac Medina was driving to a friends house when the earthquake struck. After living in the Fukushima area for 10 years Isaac was used to earthquakes but as the roads began to buckle and power lines started popping around him, Isaac knew that this one was different.

Twitter user Our Man in Abiko used Twitter to create a crowd sourced ebook one week after the earthquake to provide an outlet for people to express their emotions. Using the power of Twitter he built a community of users who were united in publishing the book.

The United States government responded to the earthquake with Operation Tomodachi to provide relief aid to some of the worst hit areas in North Eastern Japan. Kurt Tong is the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Tokyo. He joins me to talk about the Tomodachi Initiative which aims to bring young Japanese students from the Tohoku region to study in America.

Zak Baney is a filmmaker who’s film ‘Last Message’ was shot in some of the worst hit areas in Sendai. His film is a powerful reminder of what is most important in our lives.

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PHOTO: Mitch Sketch