October 9, 2019
Ishinomaki, Miyagi Pref.--The city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, showed the press on Wednesday the interior of the former Kadonowaki elementary school, part of which the city decided to preserve as a way to pass on to posterity lessons from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Press access to the disaster-struck building was granted before work related to the preservation effort, such as dismantling parts not planned for preservation, begins in November.
The first to third floors of the central portion of the main school building will be preserved, while both wings of the building will be demolished. Visitors will only be allowed to view the building from the outside after the preservation work, due to worries about falling objects and potential collapse.
The first floor of the building was flooded by the tsunami, while the third floor and the east wing were destroyed by fire. Students were evacuated and kept safe.
"It is a one-of-a-kind monument to teach the horrors of both fire and tsunami," a city official said.
The site is slated to open to the public in 2021, after construction work for the preservation project is completed. The project will cost around one billion yen, including setting up an exhibition facility for resources regarding the disaster.
The city has also decided to preserve the former Okawa elementary school building, where 74 students and 10 staff were killed in the tsunami. Jiji Press
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