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Japanese town protected from tsunami by 51 foot gate

A 51 foot-high flood gate saved the town of Fudai, Japan, during the massive tsunamis that followed the March 11 earthquake, according to a new report from the Associated Press.

Many people had previously thought of the gate, built in the 1970s, as a waste of public funds. However, when the 65 feet high waves hit on March 11, the town of Fendai, Iwate, was protected by the floodgate.

"It cost a lot of money. But without it, Fudai would have disappeared," said one local fisherman named Satoshi Kaneko.

The Mayor of Fudai, Hiroshi Fukawatari, also expressed awe at what the floodgate had done to save the community.

In comparison, nearby towns also had concrete floodgates, including the town of Taro. However, none of these gates were as tall as the one in Fudai. For example, the Taro floodgate was 33 feet tall and could not withstand the force of the devastating March 11 tsunami.

The tsunami was caused by a massive earthquake that hit off the coast of Japan, measuring 9.0 in magnitude and was called the largest in recorded history for the country. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed or displaced as a result of the natural disaster from which the Japanese are still in the process of recovering.
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