Japan earthquake and tsunami: A year on
Next week, on 11 March, it will be exactly a year since one the most powerful earthquakes on record struck the north-east coast of Japan, triggering a massive tsunami wave up to 40 metres in height.
The 9.0 magnitude quake hit just before 3pm local time at a relatively shallow party of the Pacific Ocean, its epicentre just of the Oshika Peninsula of Tohoku. Sendai was the nearest major city to the earthquake and was among the worst affected areas. The northern Pacific coastline of Japan was devastated by the tsunami, which travelled at a rate of 500mph (800km/h), sending ships crashing into the shore, flattening buildings, sweeping away cars, trees and people.
The Japanese National Police Agency confirmed 15,850 deaths and thousands injured and missing. A ship carrying 100 people was swept away, four trains disappeared into the sea and an estimated 125,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed. Fires ripped across the country. A dam burst in Fukushima prefecture, submerging homes and flooding the nuclear power plant, causing radioactive material to leak. The following day an explosion triggered fears of a meltdown and it took months for the plant to be made safe.
It was a triple disaster: earthquake, tsunami and nuclear.
Twelve months on, independent.co.uk has put together a large picture gallery charting the events of March 2011 as they unfolded.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
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