Dramatic images show Japan's recovery from its devastating tsunami 10 years on

Jimmy Nsubuga
·2-min read
(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on March 4, 2021 shows a house (L) - moved by the tsunami three days previously - blocking a street in the town of Ofunato, Iwate prefecture on March 14, 2011; and the same area (R) nearly 10 years later on January 27, 2021. - Japan this month marks 10 years since the worst natural disaster in the country's living memory -- the massive earthquake, deadly tsunami and nuclear meltdown of March 11, 2011. (Photo by TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA and Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo by TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA,KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)
Picture shows Ofunato, Japan, immediatley after the disaster and ten years later (AFP via Getty)

It is 10 years since Japan suffered its worst natural disaster in living memory, when a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the country and caused a nuclear plant’s meltdown.

An onslaught of waves sparked by the 9.0-magnitude quake crashed into the country's northeastern coast on 11 March, 2011, killing nearly 20,000 people and crippling the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

More than 160,000 residents fled as radiation spewed into the air.

It was the world’s worst nuclear disaster since the tragedy in Chernobyl, Ukraine, in 1986.

The government has spent about 32.1tn yen (£212bn) to rebuild the tsunami-devastated Tohoku region, but areas around the Fukushima plant remain off-limits, worries about radiation levels linger and many who left have settled elsewhere.

The following images show how areas near the disaster looked then and now:

Ofunato

A house blocks a street three days after the tsunami in Ofunato, Iwate prefecture, on 14 March, 2011.

The comparison image shows the same area nearly 10 years later on 27 January, 2021.

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Otsuchi

A catamaran sightseeing boat is shown washed up by the tsunami on a two-storey tourist home in Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture, on 16 April, 2011.

The second picture shows the same area on 28 January, 2021.

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Otsuchi

The first image shows a ship that had been washed ashore by the tsunami on to a two-storey tourist home in Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture, on 16 April, 2011.

The comparison image of the same area was taken on 27 January, 2021.

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Ishinomaki

The first picture shows a boat washed on to a street by the tsunami in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, taken on 15 March, 2011.

The second image was taken on 26 January, 2021.

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Kesennuma

The first image shows a general view of the damage caused by the tsunami, seen from a hill overlooking the city of Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, on 16 March, 2011.

The second image of the same area was taken on 27 January, 2021.

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Natori

This combination of pictures shows debris covering a large tsunami-hit area of Natori, Miyagi prefecture on March 13, 2011; and the same area nearly 10 years later on January 26, 2021.

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