Eight years after the 3/11/11 tsunami, Minamisanriku is still working on recovery and transformation of their community. I visited here in June of 2011 as a member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (1), May of 2013 with my family, and September of 2014 with Oregon Public Broadcasting (2). It was during the last visit that I recorded this 4 minute video from the Kanyo Hotel looking due East out on Shizugawa Bay. May the rising sun continue to shine on Minamisanriku, heralding their path forward.
I'm a local emergency manager in the Portland metro area and primarily work in the aspects of disaster resilience, hazard mitigation, and recovery planning. I am especially interested in how hazards are integrated into a sense of place and how we can better design our communities to adapt to and work with the environment. Can we leverage our sense of community identity and belonging now, before a disaster, or do we have to learn these lessons the hard way?