VIEW | Fukushima: How we rose from a disaster with a vision for renewables

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Middle East

VIEW | Fukushima: How we rose from a disaster with a vision for renewables

March 11, 2011, was a day I shall never forget, a day when the people of Namie in northern Japan lost so much and endured so much. It was a quiet Friday afternoon when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. As a town official, I was attending a middle-school graduation ceremony during the morning. When, that afternoon, the ground shook violently in one of the largest quakes ever to hit our quake-prone country, I knew there was a strong risk of a tsunami and was relieved that all the children were evacuated safely to higher ground. But for many in our town, the tragedy was unremitting. 181 of our friends and neighbors lost their lives as the 15-meter waves crashed ashore, engulfing all of the 600 homes along the coast. We continue to mourn for those who have perished. Even then our ordeal was not over. As the hours passed, we found out through television broadcasts that the nearby Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant was in trouble, and that evacuation warnings had been announced. All 21,000 of our residents had to evacuate with little more than what they could carry.At such times, it is difficult to imagine a future.

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