As one of the most devastating disasters in human history, a large number of residents in the affected regions are still living in temporary housing, and as Yahoo! Japan does its bit to send money towards ongoing reconstruction efforts, they’re also doing their best to educate people about the incident.
This year, they’ve installed a massive signboard overlooking Tokyo’s famous scramble crossing intersection with a large red stripe across it that shows the height of the 16.7-meter (54-foot) wave that hit Tohoku on the afternoon of 11 March 2011.
▼ The sign can be seen on the side of the Magnet by Shibuya 109 building until 14 March.
If the massive billboard looks familiar, it’s probably because Yahoo! Japan installed a similar board on the side of the Sony Building in Tokyo’s Ginza district two years ago. However, this year, the sign comes with a completely different message, which reads as follows:
Though eight years have passed, this day continues to hold a special meaning for us.
It is the memory of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Do not let it just end with sorrow. You have to learn from the experience and change and prepare.
At that time, the tsunami in Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture, was 16.7 metres in height.
If the tsunami came to Shibuya, it would’ve been exactly at this height [this section is written at the red level on the poster]
The Heisei era will end, but as we advance into the next era, don’t forget about that day.
This is the hope of Yahoo.
The signboard’s message is particularly poignant when viewed from afar, as in this time-lapse video. From this distance, we can grasp an understanding of the enormous scale of the tsunami, and the many thousands of cars, buildings, and people that were swept up in it.
In Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture, approximately 3,500 homes, or more than a fifth of all residences in the city, were destroyed by the tsunami, claiming the lives of more than 300 of its citizens.
While the poster is a reminder of the sadness of that day, we should also heed its advice and not let the day “end with just sorrow”. There are still ways to help, and one of those is by making a donation towards recovery efforts with a “3.11” search before midnight Japan time on Yahoo! Japan’s search engine.