Arahama Elementary School

Evacuation Route Research Institute; The Case of Arahama Elementary School, Sendai City

Gathering clues to find the route for tomorrow.

Arahama Elementary School is located about 700 meters from the coast. Although it took the tsunami 70 minutes to reach the school following the earthquake, I felt as if it arrived in an instant. The scene was so shocking that I did not notice the emergency siren wailing. Due to the height of the tsunami, far surpassing our expectations, children and local residents were forced onto the rooftop to take refuge.

Since all we could see in the total darkness were fires from exploded oil storage tanks, I think the children must have been extremely frightened. Thanks to the school building, which did not collapse, evacuees were able to have somewhere to go―to survive. I thank this school from the bottom of my heart.

“Evacuation Route Research Institute (Keiro Kenkyusho)”
is a series that focuses on how people spent the time from the tremor to the arrival of the tsunami on March 11. By establishing the time they reached higher ground and the time they were rescued, the series studies the evacuation routes of people who survived the tsunami.