Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 12, 2012
A lone pine tree that stood as a symbol of hope in Japan, after surviving the huge tsunami that swept away a forest of 70,000, was being cut down Wednesday in a bid to preserve it.
The tree, which came to be known as the "miracle pine", will be sliced into pieces and treated before being put back together, in a process expected to cost about 150 million yen ($1.9 million).
A ritual reflecting the beliefs of Shintoism, Japan's animistic native religion, was carried out on the pine before the delicate process began on the shore at Rikuzentakata, a city badly hit by the March 2011 disaster.
"The process of cutting down could take two days or more, as we need to start cutting branches that can eventually be put back on the trunk," city official Shinya Kitajima told AFP.
He said the trunk of the 27-metre (89-foot) tree will be divided into nine sections, which will be hollowed out and given anti-decay treatment before being reassembled using a carbon spine.
The whole preservation process will finish in February, the official said, and the tree will be put back where it was, on a spot that was previously a thick shoreline forest.
A Facebook page launched earlier this year soliciting donations towards the cost of preserving the pine had raised nearly 27 million yen by Monday, a city official said.
Around 19,000 people died when the huge waves of 18 months ago swept ashore, crushing whole communities on Japan's northeast coast.
Hundreds of thousands of people remain displaced, either because their homes were destroyed or because they had to evacuate the area around the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant when it began leaking radiation.
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|