Shocking scenes on the road to Sendai

A vehicle is buried in mud and debris after it was washed away by tsunami in Sendai, northern Japan Saturday, March 12, 2011 following Japan's biggest recorded earthquake on Friday. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING ALLOWED IN CHINA, HONG KONG, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND FRANCE Anonymous

A vehicle is buried in mud and debris after it was washed away by tsunami in Sendai.
AP Photo/Kyodo


Tonight the air is filled with the wail of sirens of racing fire engines, the eastern sky is red-orange from a massive fire at the port. Driving through city streets is like maneuvering through some kind of apocalyptic maze.

The roads are littered with the carcasses of cars and trucks tossed and twisted by the powerful surging water of the tsunami. Huge tanker trucks and 18 wheelers upended, wrapped around utility poles, piled on top of each other.

When we first got here in the afternoon people were running to the high center of a bridge. There had been another big aftershock and another tsunami warning.

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People are frightened, skittish, and understandably so. Not only did they endure, survive being near the epicenter of one of the biggest earthquakes ever recorded, a quake that shook them and knocked down their houses and businesses for 15 minutes, but 30 minutes later the killer current washed in from the ocean.

From what we could see the wave pushed miles onto shore.

We asked people which was worse, the earthquake or the tsunami. Everyone told us, "the tsunami."

It's hard to imagine the power of the raging waters. In the parking lot of the Aviation Academy planes and trucks and cars are scattered and piled up like so many pieces of paper.

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  • Bill Whitaker

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