Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd.

At an earthquake reconstruction site

A day on site
December 2013

Cranes and those operating them

We asked the operator of a large-sized SL-13000 crane about his workday.

Mr. Shibata, operator Mr. Shibata
Crane Operator
Uchimiya Transportation and Engineering Co., Ltd.

At an earthquake reconstruction site

We asked Mr. Shibata if there were any specific sites that left an impression on him, and he told us about visiting Ishnoimaki City in Miyagi Prefecture two month after the big earthquake. Mr. Shibata and his colleagues were among the first to start rebuilding after the destruction of the earthquake and tsunami.

“It was tragic. At the site, there was a large lake that was not on any pre-quake map. Looking down on the town from a high place on Hiyoriyama, we could see that the tsunami had taken most of the buildings away, and left nothing in the city. Naturally, tears came.”

On site, the crane never stopped moving. Right now, UCHIMIYA is engaged in the Nobiru North Hill Area Reconstruction Project in Higashi Matsushima City, Miyagi prefecture, as a subcontractor for the Urban Renaissance Agency (UR). It’s a big project that involves moving the homes, railroads and elementary schools for people who lived in the seashore area of Nobiru in Higashi Matsushima from the vulnerable seacoast inland to higher ground. That means flattening mountains and carrying the spoil to the seashore on a huge belt conveyor. As the residential areas will be high above sea level when the project is complete, people will no longer live in fear of a tsunami.

“The seashore area is still not rebuilt. I wish the media would show how little the progress has been. I’d like to see the area rebuild so people could go back to their daily lives. I’m only one person, but I’d like to offer what little strength I have to helping them.”

With that in mind, Mr. Shibata works to build a brighter future by operating his crane day after day.