Friday, March 18, 2011

A week ago today, at 2:46 pm JST, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of the T?hoku region in Japan. The earthquake created an extremely destructive tsunami that spawned 10 metre (33 ft) high waves just moments later. The tsunami travelled 10 km (6 mi) inland causing massive destruction in the country’s northeast, including crippling a nuclear plant.

The earthquake and resulting tsunami have left 5,692 dead and over 9,506 missing, with nearly 450,000 homeless. The death toll is expected to rise.

In this special photoessay, Wikinews looks at the earthquake and tsunami, the destruction that resulted and efforts to bring aid to the Japanese people.

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A Japanese home is seen adrift in the Pacific Ocean. Image: U.S. Navy.

The antenna on top of Tokyo Tower was slightly bent by the earthquake. Image: Morio.

Items were knocked off shelves at a store in Narashino, Chiba after the earthquake. Image: mikuaxe.
Soil liquefaction on a road in Koto, Tokyo. Image: Morio.
An explosion occurs at the Cosmo Oil refinery in Ichihara, Chiba. Image: Cranky5.
View of a fire in Odaiba following the earthquake. Image: Hikosaemon.
Crowds of workers evacuated from Tokyo skyscrapers walk home after the earthquake in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Image: Hikosaemon.
A long line of cars stretches down Itsukaichi Street in Tokyo on March 11. Due to disruption of train service because of the earthquake and tsunami, people are trying to find alternate means of getting home. Image: Kellykaneshiro.
Stranded passengers congregate at the Kei? line concourse of Shinjuku Station in Tokyo as public transportation in northern Japan is interrupted following the earthquake and tsunami. Image: ?????.
Stranded passengers evacuate from a Tokyo train. Image: ?????.
Calculated wave height of the tsunami, from a NOAA computer model. Image: NOAA.
This false-color satellite picture from NASA’s MODIS satellite shows the area of Sendai on March 13 (top) and February 26 (bottom) shows how far inland the area near Sendai was flooded by tsunami. A bright orange-red spot near the city of Sendai is the thermal signature from a fire. Image: NASA.
An aerial view of the port of Sendai on March 12. Image: U.S. Navy.
A solemn desk chair lies in a layer of mud and petroleum that now covers much of the U.S. FISC Yokosuka Defense Fuel Support Point Hachinohe facility following the tsunami. Image: DVIDSHUB.
The city of Ofunato, Japan, was severely damaged by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Image: U.S. Navy.
A trail of debris is seen floating in Pacific Ocean. The debris was inspected by a helicopter-based search and rescue team from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Image: U.S. Navy.
An up-close aerial view of debris floating in the Pacific. The debris was inspected by a helicopter-based search and rescue team from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Image: U.S. Navy.
A Japanese barge is seen adrift in the Pacific Ocean. Image: U.S. Navy.
An upended house is among the debris in Ofunato, Japan. Image: U.S. Navy.
Members of the Fairfax County, Virginia Urban Fire and Rescue Team head into downtown Ofunato to search for survivors following the earthquake and tsunami. Teams from the United States, United Kingdom and China are on scene to assist in searching for missing residents. Image: DVIDSHUB.
A mother and daughter look at a family photo amid the wreckage of their home. Image: U.S. Navy.
A damaged water pipe shoots into the air after the tsunami.Image: U.S. Navy.
A tug boat among the debris in Ofunato.Image: U.S. Navy.
A Mickey Mouse doll lies among debris in Ofunato.Image: U.S. Navy.
Vehicles and debris line a canal in the downtown area of Ofunato.Image: U.S. Navy.
A large sail boat rests against a building in Ofunato. Image: U.S. Navy.
An aerial view of tsunami damage in an area north of Sendai, Japan, taken from a U.S. Navy helicopter. Image: U.S. Navy.
Empty instant noodle shelves in a supermarket in Tokyo due to stock being bought out on March 16, 2011, 5 days after the earthquake. Image: Kellykaneshiro.
Residents wait in a line outside a convenience store to purchase groceries and supplies on March 13, two days after the earthquake and tsunami. Image: Hitomi.
A blackout in Narashino, Chiba on March 15. Image: mikuaxe.
U.S. Navy sailors transfer humanitarian supplies from an aircraft carrier to a helicopter. Image: U.S. Navy.
Japanese citizens receive supplies from the crew of a U.S. Navy helicopter. Image: U.S. Navy.
A closed petrol station in Tokyo on March 16. Image: LERK.
Entrance of the Japanese Embassy in Berlin after the earthquake and tsunami and subsequent accidents at the Fukushima Daichi power plant on March 15. Image: Jochen Jansen.
Russian people take flowers to the embassy of Japan in Moscow after the 2011 earthquake. Image: Elmor.

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