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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Japan : Survivors mourn children killed in tsunami at school memorial

Via Japan Today, children lives lost due to tsunami, a heartwrenching article, excerpt :

" ISHINOMAKI : A memorial service was held Thursday to mourn the disaster victims of an elementary school in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which lost around 70% of its students in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The photos of the 84 victims—74 children and 10 teachers—from the city-run Okawa Elementary School were displayed in honor of them at the ceremony, which was held at another school as its building was severely damaged. Okawa Elementary School started a new academic year there on April 21.

Those who attended the memorial included the families of the victims as well as members of the Self-Defense Forces, police and fire departments who searched for them.

Many pupils and school staff members perished in the tsunami that rushed upstream along a local river while they were fleeing to higher ground from Okawa Elementary School, which was located about five kilometers from the mouth of the river.

Of the 108 children at the school, 67 were confirmed dead as of Wednesday morning with seven still missing. Of the 13 school teachers and others, nine were killed and one was still missing.

Meanwhile, Ground Self-Defense Force troops mounted an intensive search on the coast of Miyagi Prefecture on the same day to look for those still missing, many of them believed to have been washed away by the tidal waves."

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