CNN: Hard-hit town recalls tsunami: ‘I couldn’t watch anymore’

Fishing boats lie piled atop debris in Kesennuma on Saturday. Hundreds were killed, and the number of dead is expected to riseMinami Sanriku, Japan (CNN) — As people in Japan’s capital tried to return to normalcy on Sunday, their neighbors to the north were aghast at the damage caused by a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami, with many of them anxious to learn the fate of still-missing loved ones. In Minami Sanriku, a town in northeastern Japan, a family photo album lay on the sodden ground, showing a beaming man holding a newborn baby — happiness out of place amid the devastation and carnage left by a tsunami that occurred just after a massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake. It’s been estimated that some 9,500 people — half the town’s population — may be unaccounted for. Only a handful of buildings were left standing, with the rest a mangled mess of rubble. A boat sat on the edge of town, carried more than two miles inland by the tsunami. When the tsunami warning sounded Friday, “Most people ran away,” said Choushin Takahaski, who was working in a local government office near the water. “Some had to leave the elderly or disabled behind on the second floor. I think a lot of those left behind probably died.”…Read More