RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan — A pine tree that survived the 2011 tsunami has been preserved at the mouth of the Kawaharagawa river on a spot that was inundated following the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

Sitting nearby is the former Rikuzentakata Youth Hostel, which still looks as it did when the disaster hit. The building is planned to be preserved as a reminder of the disaster.

A huge seawall 41 feet high, about 160 feet wide and stretching about a mile and a half is being built along the coast.

In the distance, buildings can be seen on a hill that was created by raising ground levels. The pine tree watches over the “new town” that is gradually emerging.

In this May 2011 photo –two months after the devastating tsunami – the ‘miracle pine tree’ stands in a beach area in Rikuzentakata, northeastern Japan. It was the only survivor of more than 20,000 pine trees planted as a tidewater control forest that had been one of the most popular tourist spots in the prefecture.

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