MORIOKA, Iwate Pref. (Kyodo) The city of Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture, hit by a major earthquake one year ago, may try to preserve part of a 95-meter bridge destroyed by the killer temblor.

With the memorial project, the municipal government hopes to pass down lessons and memories of the disaster to later generations.

But local tourism officials are concerned that preserving the Matsurube Bridge as a disaster memorial will strengthen public images of the area as quake-prone.

“If the bridge is left, the impression of the quake-hit area will last longer,” said Hiroyoshi Onodera, director general of the Ichinoseki Tourism Association.

The city will decide whether to give final approval to the project before the end of the year, officials said.

According to the city’s plan, upper sections of the bridge, including the main girder, and a damaged support will be removed for safety reasons.

The remaining parts, including an abutment and another support, will be left to help promote antidisaster education, the officials said.

The magnitude 7.2 temblor struck Iwate Prefecture and the surrounding area last June 14, killing 12 people, injuring 357 and damaging 614 structures.

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