Niigata remembers victims of 2004 quake

Kyodo

Residents across Niigata Prefecture attended events on Thursday to remember the 68 people killed in the 2004 Niigata-Chuetsu earthquake.

“We must convey the lessons from the disaster to the next generation,” Ojiya Mayor Yasuo Yatsui said at a 10th-anniversary memorial ceremony in Nagaoka co-sponsored by the prefectural and six municipal governments. “Reviewing the past decade, we wish for a bright future.”

Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida said “We would like to repay support from throughout Japan by achieving reconstruction in a manner to encourage people affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and other disasters.”

Izumida made his remarks while offering flowers at a memorial park in Ojiya, near the site where 2-year-old Yuta Minagawa, now 12, was rescued from a car buried in a mudslide, four days after the quake. Yuta’s mother and older sister were killed in the slide.

The magnitude-6.8 quake caused mudslides in mountainous areas in and around Nagaoka, injuring 4,805 people and damaging more than 120,000 houses in Niigata and four other prefectures.