Friday, September 16, 2011

16/09 Mountain washed away by March 11 tsunami

The Yomiuri Shimbun

SENDAI--Mt. Hiyori, regarded as the nation's second-lowest mountain at 6.05 meters high, was washed away by the March 11 tsunami, it has been learned.

The tsunami washed away not only the shortest official mountain in Miyagino Ward, Sendai, but also a reed field in the Gamo wetlands where wild birds such as snipes and plovers rested. Consequently, numbers of wild birds in the area have fallen sharply since the disaster.

According to a civic group working to protect the Gamo wetlands, about 50 species of bird are usually observed at this time of year. However, only 28 species were recorded in a survey on the area they took on Sunday.

According to the Sendai municipal government and other sources, Mt. Hiyori was the second-lowest mountain in the nation, behind the 4.53-meter-high Mt. Tempo in Osaka, based on a map issued by the Geospatial Information Authority.

A Geospatial Information Authority official said the body would decide what course of action to take regarding the mountain being featured on its map after checking aerial photos and information from local governments.

The mountain, which was quite easy to walk around, was believed to have been made by local residents around 1909. It overlooked Sendai Bay and was loved by local residents as a place to relax. Some residents have expressed disappointment for having lost the mountain.

An 81-year-old man from Miyagino Ward who used to live near Mt. Hiyori said: "I've not come here for a long time and I'm so surprised to see [the mountain] is totally gone. I regret the loss of the mountain, which made for the best playground when I was a child."

(Sep. 16, 2011)

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