By on March 26, 2011

“Cars mangled by the massive wall of water that destroyed into Japan’s northeast coast are being removed by construction equipment, placed on trucks and laid to rest by the thousands on flood plains once covered with water. The cars, many of which are marked with spray paint to indicate if bodies needed to be removed from inside, are laid in neat rows with license plates easily visible for owners or family members hoping to find lost vehicles.”

Read the complete gripping Reuters article here.

PS: Despite more than 20,000 dead, you won’t find pictures of them in the Japanese media. It is against Japanese custom to show pictures of the dead. Japanese are shocked when foreign media do not respect this custom.

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15 Comments on “Looking For Your Car? Members Of Your Family?...”

  • avatar

    I love it when Gawker posts pictures of dead people.

  • avatar

    It will be interesting to see how the infrastructure handles the disaster. I would think that there’s thousands that have nothing except the clothes on their backs, all documentation and identification gone.
    It’s mind boggling.

    • 0 avatar

      The Japanese are meticulous record keepers. So if IDs are gone, they can be replaced. However, some city halls, where the essential “koseki” (or family registers, there even is one on me …) are kept, have been swept away, and with them, the identities of thousands of people.

  • avatar

    I guess after it all shakes down, those thousands and thousands of cars will be sent to China to be recycled as a Chery or China-NIssan Versa.

    • 0 avatar

      There is at least as good a chance that they’ll be recycled in Japan. Unlike the US of O, Japan doesn’t have anti-industry policies that make their scrap metal more valuable as it leaves the country for somewhere with a future.

  • avatar

    I have been amazed at the slow pace and incompetence of the response.  I guess, to paraphrase Kanye, Naoto Kan doesn’t care about Japanese people.

    • 0 avatar

      Are kidding, it has only been a couple of weeks.  Compared to the US after Katrina, the Japanese have handled the situation pretty well.  The tsunami and earthquake affected millions. Add to it the problems at the Fukijima power plants.  The devastation is much more massive than Hurricane Katrina.
      Initially, the roads were out of commission. In the past few days, disaster aid has been reaching the refugee centers by the truck load.  Fuel is still in short supply.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      You have been seriously misled by the US media which has been hypnotized by the side show of the Fukushima powerplants. Compared to the March 11 quake/tsunami, Katrina was a garden party. The number of dead and missing completely dwarfs the casualties of any natural disaster that has happened in the US.

    • 0 avatar

      You don’t have to feed and house dead people, you need to do that for the living.  The government is not handling it, the Yakuza is.  BTW, I don’t have cable TV, I am watching NHK on youtube.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know that I’d call the problem at the nuclear plants a “side show”. The quake and tsunami were catastrophic on their own, but the very real potential for meltdown (if it hasn’t happened already) has a huge effect beyond Japan.

  • avatar

    I’m with the Japanese on the dead.  Some things should be respected.
    I wonder how long before these cars make it to the U.S. on reclaimed titles?

    • 0 avatar

      The Japanese drive on the left , so these cars or some of their components are more likely to show up in the UK or former colonies

    • 0 avatar

      Most of America was once “with the Japanese” on showing pictures of the dead.  In the 1920s, according to my older relatives, major newspapers that printed such photos were assaulted by howls of protest. Only sleazy tabloids like Police Gazette would print them, and they were then sold “under the counter”, as Playboy would be in the 1950s and ’60s.

  • avatar

    I was very surprised to read in the New York Times that 99% of Japanese drivers don’t carry tsunami riders on their car insurance.

    Some very high percentage of all those cars that were washed away weren’t covered.

    So, when that big chunk of Canary Island slides into the Atlantic and sends a massive wall of water racing towards the East Coast of the US – am I covered?

  • avatar

    To the extent that the bodies are not mangled or decomposed beyond recognition, pictures should be made of their faces, and records of their fingerprints, teeth, DNA should be recorded.  Such that any potential survivor can identify the decedent and or the authorities can match these to any extant databases scattered throughout the country.

    I would expect that someone is/has created a database on these cars, listing make, model, MY, color, plate number, owner’s name, location found, current location, comments whether any bodies inside and if so, where bodies now reside.

    For me a massive database of houses destroyed, cars (boats), people registered in shelters (or other registered survivors), identified fatalities, etc. compared against census / voter’s records would be helpful for identifying dead.

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