One hundred and fourteen years ago today a minor tremor just off the east coast of Japan, at 732 pm June 15th 1896, was barely felt by the people who lived on the seacoast. The fishing boats from the Iwate and Miyagi prefectures were mostly offshore trying for an evening catch. They did not notice anything unusual.
When the boats returned they found a floating mass of debris where their villages had been. A 125 foot high tsunami had come ashore washing away over nine thousand homes and twenty-two thousand lives.
At 233 AM on March 2nd 1933 another earthquake in almost the same location triggered another Tsunami which destroyed seven thousand homes and ended several thousand more lives. After the 1933 event measures to reduce the toll of such events were undertaken.