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08/02/2012

Volunteers clean up the Shirahama beach, Kitakami Town, dreaming of getting a bathing resort back.

JEN rounded up volunteers to clean up the beach of Shirahama, Jyusanhama District, Kitakami Town, Miyagi Prefecture on August 18, 19, 28 and 29. While there were 28 bathing beaches before the disaster hit Miyagi prefecture, now bathing is possible only at the beach of Odanohama, Ooshima District, Kesennuma City. I heard that Odanohama was reopened as a bathing resort through local authorities', residents' and volunteers' great efforts on July 21.

(Related information: In the 22/7/2012 issue of The Kahokushinpou )

【Currently swimming is not allowed. 】
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Large rubbles on the beach of Shirahama were removed but still litters were scattered here and there on it. A local fisherman who had worked on fishery assistance with us taught us about the dismal state of the beach of Shirahama. Some 20 volunteers joined us in cleaning up the beach every day from all over the country.

【Let's get started.】
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【Many junior high and high school students volunteered for cleaning up the beach.】
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【A junior high school student pushes a hand car】
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【Raked rubbles】
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【To make it easier to gather up rubbles, they were put in flexible containers. 】
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We worked on this cleaning activity in close contact with the local authorities.
The Kitakami general branch office of municipal government is supposed to take on gathering up collected rubbles. There used to be forty families in Shirahama district, but all of their houses have been swept away by the tsunami.
The local authorities say that they are planning to start putting up a coast levee that is 8.4 meters high in January 2014 and opening the beach again for bathing is possible. With the hope of regaining vitality to the beach, we will continue cleaning activities by asking people such as children there for help.

【Once-crowded Shiroishihama. The number of sea-goers once peaked at over ten thousand a year 】
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Photo: An excerpt from the city of Ishinomaki's website

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August 2, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |