Village of Nagatsura remains devastated after tsunami
It's been one year since an earthquake and tsunami devastated to Japan's eastern coast. Dean Meminger is in Japan and has more from one area hit hard by the tsunami and the furthest behind in the rebuilding process.
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MIYAGI PREFECTURE, JAPAN -- A year later, the Village of Nagatsura looks like it was hit by the tsunami just days ago. This fishing community and scenic tourist spot is one of the last areas to receive assistance.
Robert Mangold of the International Disaster Relief Organization of Japan said, "They've had to completely rebuild several miles of road from nothing just to get out here, to get started. The bridges were all gone as well so then they had to build bridges to get across the rivers. It has just been a technical nightmare."
So people from around the world have been pitching in to help. The International Disaster Relief Organization of Japan was formed to help volunteers get into the country and actually make it to devastated areas.
Volunteer Masyhur Hilmy said, "Where I came from in Indonesia when we had a disaster close to where I was living, we have had a lot of people from different parts of the world helping. And I guess I see this as a way of giving back."
The earthquake caused the property here to shift.
Mangold said, "The land has actual sunk one and half meters. So where as once you were up on your garden, now you're standing knee deep in water. It has just allowed the ocean to come in and covered everything."
This community tragically saw 70 children swept away in the flooding as they tried to escape. On the day we were there, Japanese volunteers were building a light display to mark the disaster's anniversary, which they call 3-11, a way to bring attention to a community they say has been forgotten.
Meantime, International volunteers were constructing a temporary facility for fishermen to store their equipment.
Volunteer Andrew Hough said, "It's still very, very slow. We would like to see a lot more. It is good to see things start moving. Communities, some of them are staring to get a little more excited. "
Many of these beautiful houses remain standing. It is just agonizing for homeowners to come here and see their properties like this. Many want to move back, but it is not a realty because the area continues to flood every day with the hide tide .
Mangold said, "There's a lady over here who comes every single day. She washes her house. She cleans everything. She's lived here her entire life. She was born in that house. The tide comes in over top it it every day now and just floods that part of town. You can't even get over there."
Pain you can see and feel, by just looking at what remains of Nagatsura.