Minami Sanriku-cho in Miyagi Prefecture. Nearly three quarters of the homes in this town were lost in the tsunami.
One of the town's residents is Kiyomi Suzuki. When the tsunami struck, he barely escaped. That day, when he sensed the danger of a tsunami, Suzuki hurried to reach higher ground. He climbed to where the factory of his handicapped son was.
When he got to the top of the hill, Suzuki turned to see the tsunami pouring in over the town below. Just a few minutes later, he says, the tsunami had risen all the way to his feet.
"Uh-oh, I thought. This is not good. Then all of a sudden it came rushing up to where I was."Desperate, Suzuki ran to the buildings behind him, but the rushing water soon rose as high as he was.
"When I got here, the water was already up over my head. So I was being pushed along with the wave…I was floating in brown water. And then I saw this [drain pipe].
Until I got here, two or three times I came close to drowning. I thought I was going to die. Oh, so this is what it's like to die, I thought. I was almost ready to give up. And then I found this drain pipe. I thought, I've got to grab onto this. I grabbed it like this… And then, a few seconds later, whoosh! The water went down. All that water, and then it was gone. There was nothing left around here. It all happened so fast. In the blink of an eye."