MINAMISANRIKU, Japan (AP) — For nearly a decade, a Japanese hotel has been giving bus tours to show visitors the history of the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan’s northern Pacific coast in 2011.
The 9.1 magnitude earthquake and the tsunami it generated on March 11, 2011, killed about 18,000 people and devastated the coastline. Buildings in Minamisanriku were flattened, and more than 800 people in the city were killed or went missing.
“I want everyone to know that unexpected disasters can happen. I think it is our job as people who experienced the (tsunami) to share that,” said Fumio Ito, head of public relations at Minami Sanriku Hotel Kanyo and one of nine staff members who lead the daily hour-long bus tours.
The bus stops at a former school that was damaged by the tsunami, a disaster prevention center where 43 workers died and a former wedding ceremony hall.