Quake, Tsunami Victims Remembered in Tohoku 12 Years on

Yomiuri Shimbun photos
People pray for victims of the 2011 disaster in front of Okawa Elementary School, which still bears scars from the tsunami, in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, on Saturday.

People gathered across the Tohoku region to remember victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on Saturday, the 12th anniversary of a disaster that left more than 22,000 people dead or missing.

From early in the morning, people offered prayers along parts of the coast devastated by the tsunami, while others pressed their hands together in front of cenotaphs. People also gathered at an elementary school to mourn students who died while attempting to evacuate.

Disaster drills were held in the early hours of the morning in some coastal areas, in which people practiced evacuating to higher ground on foot and by car. Through such drills, the lessons of the disaster are being passed on to future generations.

Yomiuri Shimbun photos
Participants head for higher ground during an early morning tsunami evacuation drill in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, on Saturday.