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Hanshin quake anniversary a time for prayer and vigilance

22 4 6

The day after the Great Hanshin Earthquake, Tsutomu Korenaga rushed to Nishinomiya City Hall in Hyogo Prefecture as a disaster relief volunteer.

“Upon arrival, the scene that unfolded before my eyes was that of survivors, city officials and volunteers wandering about every which way, all indistinguishable from one another,” he wrote.

The mega-quake struck in the early morning of Jan. 17, 1995.

Korenaga, who later managed and directed volunteer activities in Nishinomiya, chronicled the first 60 days after the disaster in “Borantia wa Ikani Katsudo Shitaka” (How volunteers acted).

The book reveals how he and other volunteers fumbled about trying to get the situation under control.


© The Asahi Shimbun