Watching the Progress
Dear Family and Friends,
In my most recent message to you, I talked about the organized Japanese mind. I mentioned long-term programs that were in place, in anticipation of the next natural disaster that would devastate one region or another of this beautiful archipelago.
By coincidence a few days after my letter to you, there was an article in the newspaper about a website the Tohoku University had posted. One department of that school is called IRIDeS, or the International Research Institute of Disaster Science. It has been tracking changes in this area since the life-altering events of March 11, 2011. And that is what this website is about.
The next step is to click on the teeny picture. When you do that, a larger version of the same image appears on the right of the screen. Above that photo there is an arrow and a line. If you move the arrow from left to right, you will be able to see a progression of changes that have occurred since the initial damage. Some show only two: then and very recently. But others give a more detailed record of change, in some incidents as many as six or seven. What adds to the fascination is that the images do not jump from one to another, but rather evolve. That gives a sense of gradual change over time.
Of course, some areas were so devastated that there are many balloons piled on top of one other. In that case, it is impossible to click on any one of them. But not to worry. If you look to the left of the screen, you will see a small man. Below him is an indicator, which you can slide up or down to alter the size of the map. By increasing the size, the balloons separate, making it easier to click on each one.