I've been combing the reports for info on the Town I decided to feature in the Japan tragedy, Rikuzen-Takata. One report said that only 5,900 of a population of over 23,000 had managed to find shelter before the tsunami hit. Police said Saturday morning that they had dug up 300-400 bodies already from the debris. Rikuzen-Takata, described by the Daily Yomiyuri online as one of six nearby communities whose "administrative functions are paralyzed" (no surprise since the wave reached to the third floor of the city hall), was flown over Saturday morning by Yomiyuri reporter Koji Yasuda, who gave this report:
" The next town south was Rikuzen-Takata, but almost no buildings were to be seen where the town should have been located. It seemed as if the port town had suddenly vanished. What I could see there were only medium-rise buildings believed to be made of reinforced concrete, such as a hospital."
Reading about it only gives a vague idea. Here's video from the town.
In the meantime I found this report, orignally in German, on the fate of the Asia League and the Anyang Halla team.
Asia earthquake prevented League final
Saturday 12 March 2011, 18:32
- Martin Merk
The severe earthquake in Japan left over 1000 dead and hockey not spared. The final series of the Asian league, which would have to start yesterday, was canceled until further notice. The two teams had this blessing in disguise, because they were both on the hard-hit east coast in Fukushima Prefecture. The home team, the Tohoku Free Blades trained in its ice rink in Koriyama, Japan when the earthquake struck. The players immediately rushed from the ice to shake as the earth and pieces of concrete started falling off. The crew spent the night in an office building because their hotel was damaged.
Even the visiting team, the defending champion Anyang Halla in South Korea, had a blessing in disguise. It was only just landed in Sendai and on the way to Koriyama, when the earthquake began. The team is now in Fukushima, and only a short time before there was an explosion at a nuclear power plant took place, took off and returned to South Korea. When the playoffs will continue is as yet unclear and especially for the Japanese probably currently not in the foreground.
Sounds like the Korean team dodged several bullets. I'll keep checking the updates on this, but let me go around to the league's Japanese cities and see how they fared.
Nikko (home of the Ice Bucks)- found nothing. No news is good news, eh?
Kushiro (home of the Nippon Paper Cranes)- in the north of Hokkaido, away from the damage.
Tomokomai(home of the Oji Eagles)- on the south shore of Hokkaido, some minimal damage to docks.
Hachinhoe (one of two home bases for the Tohoku Free Blades)- whole areas flooded, lots of ships washed ashore, including a fishing boat thought lost in the wave, from which 81 survivors were choppered out.
Koriyama (their other home)- plenty of damage, but standing enough that the FoxNews stringers moved there when the radiation evacs began.
That's the news for now. I'll keep following news from Rikuzen-Takata for a while.