Morecambe firefighters’ eyewitness account of Japan

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A MORECAMBE firefighter has described the “utter destruction” he witnessed while searching in vain for survivors of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Darren Kyle, 45, from Bare, a member of the International Search and Rescue (ISAR) team, returned from Japan last Saturday after a week long mission in the coastal towns of Ofunato and Kamaisha, which were both completely flattened by the huge wave that hit the country two weeks ago.

The father-of-two said that it didn’t take long to realise that the team were unlikely to find anyone alive.

“It was a strange thing when we first arrived in Ofunato,” he said.

“It was an immaculately clean place, no rubbish anywhere, and then in the space of one or two houses it was utter devastation left and right, as far as the eye could see.

“You hear people using words that make things seem overblown, but this really was apocalyptic.

“You could see where the water had risen, there was a water line on buildings about 15 feet high.

“There were boats and wagons and coaches strewn about, and about 1km back from the coast there was a huge 100ft ocean going trawler, in amongst the ruins of a house.

“Steel beams that were two feet wide were twisted and bent into nothing and there was a huge piece of rock, 80 feet across, about 500m from the shore, the scale was just ridiculous.

“We were all truly in awe of the power and destruction.”

See the Lancaster Guardian (25-03-11) for full story.