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Asaka Yanada, a 15-year-old high school student from Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, ran as fast as she could toward a hill for 2 km, shepherding elementary school students, when the giant tsunami engulfed her hometown on March 11.

That’s how she survived the biggest disaster of her young life. Now as a participant in the Tohoku Future Leaders Summit, she believes building cities well-prepared for evacuation with clear routes and signs is a key for minimizing the impact of future calamities.

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