A deadly earthquake measuring magnitude 9.0, recorded as one of most powerful in Japan’s history, hit northeastern cities on March 11, resulting in at least 16,000 deaths, 3500 still missing, causing the region flattened by tsunami, left 2.5 million tons of wreckage. It struck at a depth of 20 kilometers off the Sanriku coast in Iwate Prefecture at 2:46 p.m. lasted for several minutes. Tsunami also hit nuclear power plants in Fukushima prefecture, disabled plants’cooling system, caused in disastrous melt down. Government decided to shut the reactors down, but struggled to keep them under control for months. 330,000 evacuees were compelled to live in shelters, bravely waited to go home for many days. Many have moved to temporary houses that national and local governments provided within 6 months after tsunami and started rebuilding new lives.
Yuko Sugimoto, 28, stands in the middle of rubble with wrapped up in a blanket stares at submerged nursery school in distance in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Pref. Her son, Raito, 5, was at the school when tsunami swept the city. They had lost contact, but reunited 3 days after.