Sunday, April 24, 2011

The mystical stone at tsunami tide's highest point that saved tiny Japanese village from the deadly wave


Obelisk was erected by survivors of previous tsunamis to warn future generations

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This four-foot high stone may look unremarkable, but it is credited with saving the lives of the population of Aneyoshi when the tsunami struck Japan.

Carved into its weather-worn rock is a warning - 'Do not build your homes below this point!' - because they would be at risk from floods in a tsunami.

The villagers obeyed the ancient warning and the tiny community of just 11 houses and 34 residents were rewarded with survival at a key geographical point.

Prophetic: The stone tablet on the edge of the village of Aneyoshi, which the town's population credits with saving their lives

Aneyoshi, in the mountains of stricken Iwate Prefecture, bears a significant mark of the national natural disaster.
Just 300ft down the hil from where the stone sits is a blue line painted on the road. It marks the point in Japan where the tsunami water reached its hightest point - 127.6 feet.

The previous record height reached by flood waters in Japan was 125.3ft, which was also reached in Iwate Prefecture during a tsunami in 1896.

It is Japan's history of tsunami's that led to these warning stones becoming a familiar sight along the coast of Japan as ancestors tried to warn future generations of the dangers. Some of the stones are 600 years old.

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