Ōfunato, Iwate

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Ōfunato
大船渡市
City
Flag of Ōfunato
Flag
Location of Ōfunato in Iwate Prefecture
Location of Ōfunato in Iwate Prefecture
Ōfunato is located in Japan
Ōfunato
Ōfunato
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 39°4′N 141°43′E / 39.067°N 141.717°E / 39.067; 141.717Coordinates: 39°4′N 141°43′E / 39.067°N 141.717°E / 39.067; 141.717
Country Japan
Region Tōhoku
Prefecture Iwate Prefecture
Government
 • Mayor Kimiaki Toda
Area
 • Total 323.28 km2 (124.82 sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
Symbols
- Tree Pine
- Flower Camellia
- Bird Black-tailed Gull
Address 15, Sakarichō Aza Utsunosawa, Ōfunato-shi, Iwate-ken
022-8501
Phone number 0192-27-3111
Website Ōfunato City

Ōfunato (大船渡市 Ōfunato-shi?) is a coastal city located in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on April 1, 1952.

On November 15, 2001, the town of Sanriku (from Kesen District) was merged into Ōfunato.

As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 41,757 and a population density of 129 persons per km². The total area is 323.28 km².

Ōfunato faces the Pacific Ocean. Outside its bay, the warm and cold ocean currents meet, which allow a fishing industry to flourish. The city has been trying to establish itself as a major shipping port and receives regular visits by international freight ships. Kaminari-iwa on the city's Goishi coastline has been designated one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan.

Ofunato port, 2006

A history of tsunami disasters[edit]

Ōfunato is situated fairly close to an undersea volcano, and suffers from frequent earthquakes of various scales.

The 1896 Meiji-Sanriku earthquake caused a 25 metre tsunami which killed 27,000 people in Sanriku.

The 1933 Sanriku earthquake had a magnitude of 8.4 and caused a 28 metre tsunami which killed 1522 people.

The city became internationally famous when it was hit by a tsunami caused by the Valdivia earthquake in Chile on 22 May 1960.

Downtown area of Ofunato following the 2011 tsunami

Ōfunato hit the headlines yet again when it was heavily damaged in the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[1] The wave is estimated to have reached 23.6 meters in height.[2] Funnelled in by the narrow bay, the tsunami continued inland for 3 kilometres.[3] The town's theatre was one of very few buildings left standing (and remarkably, was undamaged) and gave shelter to about 250 survivors.[4][5] Provisional counts listed 3,498 houses out of 15,138 houses in the town destroyed by the tsunami and 305 lives were confirmed lost.[6][7] At least six of the town's 58 designated evacuation sites were inundated by the tsunami.[8]

Climate[edit]

Ofunato has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) bordering on a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with warm summers and cold winters. Precipitation is significant throughout the year, but is heaviest from August to October.

Climate data for Ōfunato, Iwate
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4.1
(39.4)
4.3
(39.7)
7.5
(45.5)
13.5
(56.3)
18.5
(65.3)
21.3
(70.3)
24.5
(76.1)
26.9
(80.4)
23.0
(73.4)
18.2
(64.8)
12.7
(54.9)
7.1
(44.8)
15.13
(59.24)
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.4
(32.7)
0.5
(32.9)
3.2
(37.8)
8.8
(47.8)
13.6
(56.5)
17.3
(63.1)
20.8
(69.4)
23.0
(73.4)
19.0
(66.2)
13.4
(56.1)
8.1
(46.6)
3.2
(37.8)
10.94
(51.69)
Average low °C (°F) −3.2
(26.2)
−3.3
(26.1)
−1.0
(30.2)
3.9
(39)
8.8
(47.8)
13.6
(56.5)
17.7
(63.9)
19.8
(67.6)
15.3
(59.5)
8.7
(47.7)
3.4
(38.1)
−0.7
(30.7)
6.92
(44.44)
Precipitation mm (inches) 45.7
(1.799)
61.4
(2.417)
86.6
(3.409)
141.6
(5.575)
149.7
(5.894)
154.0
(6.063)
165.3
(6.508)
197.6
(7.78)
194.5
(7.657)
138.7
(5.461)
99.6
(3.921)
44.3
(1.744)
1,479
(58.228)
Snowfall cm (inches) 12
(4.7)
19
(7.5)
10
(3.9)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
7
(2.8)
49
(19.3)
 % humidity 62 63 63 67 72 80 84 82 80 74 68 64 71.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 153.6 146.1 176.1 177.2 208.4 163.7 151.4 165.5 124.9 154.1 138.9 140.1 1,900
Source: NOAA (1961-1990) [9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ofunato devastated by tsunami BBC report, 12 March 2011
  2. ^ 23.6-meter-high tsunami triggered by March 11 quake: survey Kyodo News, 23 March 2011
  3. ^ A thousand bodies a day will be recovered every day now The Age, 22 March 2011
  4. ^ Synopsis of a Channel 4 TV news bulletin on 15th March 2011
  5. ^ Tritten, Travis, J., and T. D. Flack, "U.S. rescue teams find devastation in northern city of Ofunato", Stars and Stripes, 15 March 2011, retrieved 16 March 2011.
  6. ^ NOAA tsunami data table
  7. ^ Gilhooly, Rob, "Survivors strive to start picking up the pieces", Japan Times, 27 March 2011, p. 7.
  8. ^ Kyodo News, "Tsunami hit more than 100 designated evacuation sites", Japan Times, 14 April 2011, p. 1.
  9. ^ "Ofunato Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 29, 2012. 

External links[edit]