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Night in Ishinomaki


The city was among the most seriously affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Several waves, up to about 10 meters high traveled inland up to 3 miles from the coast. The tsunami destroyed around 80% of the 700 houses in the coastal whaling port of Ayukawa, and the Kadonowaki neighbourhood was largely leveled. Approximately 46% of the city was inundated by the tsunami. One elementary school, Okawa Elementary, was completely destroyed, killing 70 of 108 students and nine of 13 teachers and staff. The teachers and students were evacuating from the school and were swept away by the tsunami while crossing a nearby river bridge. One of the teachers who survived later committed suicide. As of 17 June 2011, a total of 3,097 deaths had been confirmed in Ishinomaki due to the tsunami, with 2,770 unaccounted for. Approximately 29,000 city residents lost their homes.