Time stood still

Pieces of ‘ earth­quake her­itage’ items tell the story of a dev­as­tat­ing day.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIVING - By KEITA II­JIMA

CLOCKS that stopped tick­ing tell the story of what hap­pened five years ago – the strong shak­ing and the tsunami trig­gered by the Great East Ja­pan Earth­quake as well as the nu­clear ac­ci­dent at Tokyo Elec­tric Power Co.’ s Fukushima No. 1 nu­clear power plant.

Em­ploy­ees of the town govern­ment of Tomioka, Fukushima Pre­fec­ture, where evac­u­a­tion or­ders are still in ef­fect, have been col­lect­ing pieces of “earth­quake her­itage” – items that show us the scars left by the com­plex disas­ter.

A clock at the town’s as­sem­bly hall points to 2.46pm and never moves.

“The bat­tery might have fallen out due to the shak­ing,” Takeshi Monma, a 32- year- old town govern­ment em­ployee, said.

A clock in­stalled in front of a bar­ber­shop, mean­while, points to 2.53pm. Ac­cord­ing to To­hoku Elec­tric Power Co, a blackout struck the town around that time.

A clock cov­ered with mud was left in a drug­store. It points to 3.36pm. That was around the time when the tsunami’s depth was rapidly in­creas­ing.

The town govern­ment has been col­lect­ing those clocks and other items with per­mis­sion from their own­ers to pre­serve them as his­tor­i­cal ma­te­ri­als for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. A to­tal of about 800 items, in­clud­ing the hood of a pa­trol car that the tsunami swept away and a bent sign­board, have been col­lected so far. – The Ja­pan News/ Asia News Net­work

clocks col­lected by the town govern­ment of Tomioka, Fukushima Pre­fec­ture, are shown in this photo taken last month. They stopped tick­ing due to the Great East Ja­pan Earth­quake.

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