CNN to premier 'Surviving the Tsunami' documentary

CNN International announced today that it will air the remarkable NHK-produced documentary ‘Surviving the Tsunami’. Utilizing NHK’s exclusive footage and amateur videos, ‘Surviving the Tsunami’ gives viewers a comprehensive look at the destructive power of the catastrophic tsunami on March 11th, 2011, and the extraordinary tales of human survival.

The 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the northern coast of Japan on March 11th, 2011, was the worst ever recorded in Japan, generating a tsunami of an unprecedented scale, obliterating coastal villages and towns in a matter of minutes. In some areas, the tsunami reached close to 39 meters (128 feet) in height and traveled five kilometers (3.1 miles) inland.

‘Surviving the Tsunami’ shows exclusive NHK footage on ground and from the air in the badly-hit Tohoku region, only minutes after the earthquake, following the event closely as it unfolded. Together with invaluable videos recorded by local residents, the documentary provides an in-depth analysis of the mechanism of the tsunami and reveals how some people made narrow escapes.

The production team identified and interviewed individuals who appear on the disaster footage: a woman and her elderly mother clinging onto a rooftop shouting for help, a man in a car floating in the gushing water, and a policeman stranded on the bed of his truck as the vehicle is engulfed by the tsunami. Living just kilometers away from the sea, when and how did these people realize the tsunami was coming? What was their reaction as they found themselves submerged in the muddy waters? And most importantly, how did they manage to stay alive? ‘Surviving the Tsunami’ finds out from first-hand accounts of those who outlived the waves, shedding light on the essential skills of survival in the face of life-threatening situations.

With never-before seen images of the tsunami, the program also explores the science behind the enormous strength of the March 11th tsunami which caused immense destruction to the Tohoku region. Due to its historical prevalence to tsunamis, the Tohoku coast has already had various measures in place to prevent the waters from reaching its shores, including the world’s tallest breakwater. How did the this tsunami manage to devastate these safeguards?

NHK special documentary ‘Surviving the Tsunami’ premieres on CNN International in India on July 24 at 4:30 PM IST.

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