Tohoku disaster: Scenes of devastation

Published 7:02 PM ET, Wed March 10, 2021
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A lone 10-meter-high pine tree stands as a symbol of hope on the shore of the tsunami-wrecked Japanese city of Rikuzentakata in Iwate prefecture. The tree was one of 70,000 in a forest that had protected the city from ocean winds for more than 300 years. Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images
Entire houses disappeared when an earthquake triggered a tsunami that swamped cities along the Japanese coast. This is the city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture on March 21, 2011. Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images
Even 10 years on, the sight of a boat sitting in the middle of a suburban street is jarring. The tsunami tossed this boat onto the streets of Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture in March 2011. Kyodo News/Getty Images
The 2011 tsunami also sparked fires that consumed some houses in Natori city in Miyagi prefecture. STR/AFP/Getty Images
A man cries as he searches for his son, who was a teacher at Okawa Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture. The school was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11. Kyodo News/Getty Images
In the wake of the disaster, family albums became treasured mementos for those who had lost everything. Hitoshi Yamada/NurPhoto/Corbis/Getty Images
Survivors survey the damage in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, the day after the quake. Ten years on, many people displaced by the disaster are still living in temporary homes. Kyodo News/Getty Images
Rows of coffins in Rifu, Miyagi prefecture, carry the remains of people whose bodies were recovered. Others disappeared, swept away by the water that inundated coastal areas. JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images
A bulletin board lists the names of people missing in the disaster, as families tried to find their loved ones. Satoshi Takahashi/LightRocket/Getty Images
Rescue workers search for survivors among destroyed houses and debris in Minamisenriku, Miyagi prefecture. The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images
More than 20,000 people died or went missing in the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Kadowaki Elementary School provides a view of the ruined city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture. The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images
A rescue worker searches for signs of life in Minamisoma, Fukushima. The tsunami waves were up to 30 meters (nearly 100 feet) high. Sankei/Getty Images
A clock hit by the tsunami remains frozen at 15:25 pm, at Yagawa Elementary School in Ishinomaki. Waves covered almost 5 square kilometers (500 hectares) of the city, according to the International Tsunami Information Center. The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images
A man comforts a woman as she cries in front of her damaged home in the town of Watari in Miyagi prefecture. JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images