Muroga, who was making a delivery through Sendai’s Miyagino-ku when the March 11 tsunami struck and washed his car away in seconds even though he was more than 1 kilometer from the coastline and an hour had already passed since the magnitude 9 quake struck the northern Japan city.
Muroga wants the footage rescued from his vehicle destroyed in the killer wave to be used to show the world the terror tsunami are capable of unleashing.
“I was thinking all sorts of things, like if the water drew away I’d be saved,” Muroga, 36, told NTV’s News Zero.
Muroga had started March 11 like any other regular working day. He was driving his car equipped with a video camera for security purposes and captured footage as the quake struck. He stopped his vehicle while the surrounding area visibly shook through the force of the biggest postwar earthquake to strike Japan.
About one hour later, Muroga was waiting in traffic when the video camera showed the road suddenly being engulfed in a surge of water. Within a minute, the vehicle was being washed away. Muroga leaped from the car and swam to safety, but the vehicle was washed into a nearby warehouse and crushed.
Video experts later uncovered the camera and retrieved the footage it captured, which is now spreading virally on video sites like YouTube.
Tohoku University Postgraduate School Prof. Fumihiko Imamura said Muroga’s footage showed that tsunami waters rise quickly and silently. He urged those caught in tsunami to seek higher ground as quickly as possible and avoid using cars if they could.
Muroga saw his footage and learned dozens of people taking refuge on a supermarket ramp had been yelling to drivers to escape, but those in their cars could not hear them, nor was the approaching tsunami audible.
“There were a whole lot of people standing on the ramp yelling out to us to escape, but we didn’t realize they were there and couldn’t hear them,” he told the news program.
He’ll be hoping that his video footage will make sure his message about tsunamis will be heard and heeded.
Link to video: http://www.wimp.com/japanesetsunami/