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.
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
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Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
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