BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

world

The 2011 Japanese Tsunami In Pictures: Then And Now

On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake sent a tsunami that tore through the Northeastern coast of Japan, killing at least 15,900 people. These photos show how the island nation has recovered five years later.

Posted on March 11, 2016, at 4:01 p.m. ET

Residents of the city of Ishinomaki, in Japan's Miyagi prefecture, lit candles to form "3.11 memorial." The area was one of the hardest hit by the tsunami.

Jiji Press / AFP / Getty Images


This is Ishinomaki on March 21, 2011.

Mike Clarke / AFP / Getty Images

These images show the tsunami tearing through the city of Natori in Miyagi, followed by rebuilding efforts in 2013.

KYODO Kyodo / Reuters

Here's the town of Kesennuma, also in Miyagi, days after the 2011 tsunami, followed by how it looked last February.

KYODO Kyodo / Reuters


Here's an aerial view of Japan's northeastern coast days after the tsunami, and then again on Feb. 24, 2015.

KYODO Kyodo / Reuters

A leveled government office building in the Miyagi prefecture. Then and now.

KYODO Kyodo / Reuters

This is the baggage claim at Sendai airport and then again in 2013.

KYODO Kyodo / Reuters

And here's the striking recovery of a town in Japan's Iwate prefecture.

KYODO Kyodo / Reuters

The gymnastic hall of Daiichi junior high school, which once housed more than 1,000 evacuees, is also back to normal.

KYODO Kyodo / Reuters


Here's a general view of Onahama port in Fukushima prefecture: March 11, 2011, vs. February 28, 2015.

KYODO Kyodo / Reuters

The tsunami severely damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which sparked global alarm about radiation. About 150,000 people were displaced, either voluntarily or as part of a mandatory evacuation.

KYODO Kyodo / Reuters

Five years after the tsunami, more than 2,500 people remain missing.

Jiji Press / AFP / Getty Images
A man prays for victims on a beach in Sendai, northern Japan on March 11, 2016.
Toru Yamanaka / AFP / Getty Images

A man prays for victims on a beach in Sendai, northern Japan on March 11, 2016.


ADVERTISEMENT