ONAHAMA, Fukushima Prefecture--The first cherry blossoms in the disaster-stricken Tohoku region came into bloom on April 13, giving hope to people recovering from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
The blossoms were spotted at the former Onahama Weather Station in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture. About a dozen flowers blossomed on cherry trees regarded as the standard for determining the timing of cherry blossom blooms in the prefecture.
The former weather station, which has been unmanned since 2008, was struck by the tsunami that followed the earthquake in March last year.
"The flowers have survived the tsunami and come into bloom," said Eijiro Shimada, a 68-year-old former official at the station. "I believe they will give hope to disaster-stricken people."
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