I came across this interesting article of a centuries-old tsunami warning system in Japan.

(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

These tablets, over 600 years old,  dot the coast line warning people to only build their homes before this point.

This one reads (source AP):

“High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants. Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis. Do not build any homes below this point.”

Apparently others mark past tsunami “high water marks” to warn people of the risk in certain areas. Some even warn if there is an earthquake, a tsunami may follow.

As the article describes, even today the tablets proved as an effective method of disaster preparedness. In one town, Aneyoshi, many residents built above the tablets, uphill, and their houses were spared.  The residents recall learning about it as children:

“Everybody here knows about the markers. We studied them in school,” said Yuto Kimura, 12, who guided a recent visitor to one near his home. “When the tsunami came, my mom got me from school and then the whole village climbed to higher ground.”

Interesting how centuries later, it still is saving lives.