Cr. David Pahlke and Libraries Chair – Janelle Lecinski with Deputy Principal of West Moreton Anglican College.
Photographer: Shinichi of Yamato, and students from Asaka Kaisei High, Japan.
On March 11, 2011, the Fukushima Prefecture was hit by the most powerful known earthquake ever to occur in Japan and the fifth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900. The disaster has been hailed as the costliest natural disaster in world history with the World Bank estimating its economic cost at US$235 billion. The Fukushima students, accompanied by four teachers, are attending West Moreton Anglican College until July 30 and staying with local families. While visiting council they will inspect the photographic display currently being held at the Ipswich Central Library of images from Fukushima. The images include photographs of the area immediately after the earthquake and tsunami, two years after the event and the future of Fukushima.
GRAPHIC images from one of Japan’s greatest tragedies are now on display at the Ipswich Central Library. Ipswich City Council Tourism and Library Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said the library was hosting a special photographic display highlighting the tragic earthquake and tsunami which struck the Japanese city of Fukushima on March 11, 2011. It was the most powerful known earthquake ever to have hit Japan and the fifth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900. The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 40.5 metres in Miyako in Tōhoku’s Iwate Prefectureand which, in the Sendai area, travelled up to 10km inland.
The earthquake moved the main island of Japan 2.4m east and shifted the Earth on its axis up to an estimated 25cm. The tsunami also caused nuclear accidents including the level seven meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex and the associated evacuation zones affecting hundreds of thousands of residents. Cr Pahlke said the photographic images from Fukushima had gone on display in Ipswich ahead of the visit to West Moreton Anglican College by the students from Fukushima’s Asaka Kaisei High School. “These students all come from the Fukushima region which suffered greatly from this natural disaster.”
Cr Pahlke said the exhibition in the library’s stairwell consisted of 36 images as well as a 10 minute DVD on the tragedy. He said the library photographic exhibition provided a visual insight into how this natural disaster had impacted on Fukushima in a powerful way. “This exhibition shows photographs of the area immediately after the earthquake and tsunami, two years after the event and the future of Fukushima. “The effects of a tragedy of this scope are immense and lasting. “It has been hailed as the costliest natural disaster in world history with the World Bank estimated its economic cost at US$235 billion.”
On September 12, 2012, a Japanese National Police Agency report confirmed 15,883 deaths, 6145 injured and 2671 people missing across 20 prefecturesas well as 129,225 buildings totally collapsed with a further 254,204 buildings ‘half collapsed’ and another 691,766 buildings partially damaged. The earthquake and tsunami also caused extensive and severe structural damage in north-eastern Japan, including heavy damage to roads and railways as well as fires in many areas, and a dam collapse. Around 4.4 million households in northeastern Japan were left without electricity and 1.5 million without water after the disaster.