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March 14, 2011

Japan: Vast devastation

The vast devastation wrought by the earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, may only be matched by the destroyed lives left in their wake. Few survivors have been found, but families continue to search for their sons, daughters, wives, husbands and friends. Threats of a nuclear reactor meltdown and resulting disaster loom. -- Paula Nelson (51 photos total)

The rubble caused by an earthquake and tsunami fill the landscape in Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after northeastern coastal towns were devastated by an earthquake and tsunami. (Associated Press/Kyodo News)

A soldier holds a four-month-old baby who survived the tsunami with her family at Ishinomaki city in Miyagi prefecture on March 14, 2011. (Yomiuri Shimbun/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man cycles by a ship at Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit Japan's east coast. (Shizuo Kambayashi/Associated Press) #

A member of Japan Air Self-Defense Force rescues a victim in Ishinomaki, northern Japan, two days (Sunday, March 13, 2011) after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's east coast. (The Yomiuri Shimbun, Makoto Kondo/Associated Press) #

Houses and infrastructures devastated by a strong earthquake and tsunami in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, Monday March 14, 2011. (Associated Press/Kyodo News) #

Vessels float on oil spilled water in Fudai, Iwate, northern Japan Monday, March 14, 201. (Associated Press/Yomiuri Shimbun, Hiroshi Adachi) #

An aerial taken on March 14, 2011 during an AFP-chartered flight shows an area destroyed by the tsunami in Sendai in Miyagi prefecture three days after a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated the coast of eastern Japan. (Noboru Hashimoto/AFP/Getty Images) #

Houses and infrastructures devastated by earthquake and tsunami in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, Monday, March 14, 2011. (Associated Press/Kyodo News) #

Survivors of Friday's earthquake and tsunami spend time at an evacuation center in Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (Park Ji-ho, Yonhap/Associated Press) #

People rest in an evacuation centre near Rikuzentakata, northern Japan, March 14, 2011. (Lee Jae-Won/Reuters) #

People walk a road between the rubble of destroyed buildings in Minamisanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tsuyoshi Matsumoto/Associated Press) #

A family rests in a shelter in Soma city, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. three days after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the country's north east coast. On top of the losses of family and friends and property, evacuees in the area are now faced with the fears of radiation contamination from damaged nuclear facilities near by. (Wally Santana/Associated Press) #

Residents buy food at a temporarily opened supermarket in Sendai, northeastern Japan March 14, 2011. The supermarket set a limit on buying items at five per person. Japan battled on Monday to prevent a nuclear catastrophe and to care for millions of people without power or water in its worst crisis since World War II. (Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters) #

Evacuees line up for meals in a shelter in Soma city, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (Wally Santana/Associated Press) #

A technician in protective gear looks out an automatic door with signs reading "No entry except for those with permission" at a makeshift facility to screen, cleanse and isolate people with high radiation levels in Nihonmatsu, northern Japan March 14, 2011. (Yuriko Nakao/Reuters) #

People queue to be screened by a technician in protective gear for signs of possible radiation in Nihonmatsu, northern Japan, March 14, 2011. (Yuriko Nakao/Reuters) #

Technicians scan Red Cross rescue workers for signs of radiation in Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture in northern Japan, March 14, 2011. (Reuters/Kyodo) #

People use temporary phones set up for residents at the Natori City Hall in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture on March 14, 2011. (Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images) #

Survivors scan a list of people missing since Friday's massive earthquake and the ensuing tsunami at an evacuation center in Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (Park Ji-ho, Yonhap/Associated Press) #

People check lists for survivors at an evacuation centre in in Natori City in Miyagi prefecture on March 14, 2011. A new explosion at a nuclear plant in nearby Fukushima prefecture hit Japan on March 14 as it raced to avert a reactor meltdown. (Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images) #

Evacuees hug each other as they confirm each other's safety at a makeshift shelter in Otsuchicho town, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (The Yomiuri Shimbun, Yasuhiro Takami/Associated Press) #

A car sits atop another in an area affected by an earthquake and tsunami in Miyako, Iwate prefecture March 14, 2011. (Aly Song/Reuters) #

A man walks along a road lined with debris at Onagawa town in Miyagi prefecture on March 14, 2011. (Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images) #

A pleasure boat sits on top of a building amid a sea of debris in Otsuchi town in Iwate prefecture on March 14, 2011. (Yomiuri Shimbun/AFP/Getty Images) #

People search a boat that was washed inland that lays in the rubble in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan, March 14, 2011. (Toru Hanai/Reuters) #

Rescue workers look for missing people who were lost in the tsunami, in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, on March 14, 2011. (Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images) #

Elderly people who evacuated from a town near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant read newspapers at a shelter in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, Monday March 14, 2011. (Associated Press/Kyodo News) #

A survivor of the tsunami that swept through his village of Saito, in northeastern Japan, retells the story to a rescue team that arrived to search the area Monday, March 14, 2011. Rescue workers used chain saws and hand picks Monday to dig out bodies in Japan's devastated coastal towns, as Asia's richest nation faced a mounting humanitarian, nuclear and economic crisis in the aftermath of a massive earthquake and tsunami that likely killed thousands. (David Guttenfelder/Associated Press) #

Japanese rescue workers carry the body of a tsunami victim in devastated town of Otsuchi March 14, 2011. In the town of Otsuchi in Iwate prefecture, 12,000 out of a population of 15,000 are believed to have disappeared following Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters) #

A Japanese rescue worker walks through a destroyed residential area of tsunami-hit Otsuchi March 14, 2011. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters) #

A survivor pushes his bicycle through remains of devastated town of Otsuchi March 14, 2011. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters) #

Japanese rescue team members carry the body of a man from the village of Saito, in northeastern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. Rescue workers used chain saws and hand picks Monday to dig out bodies in Japan's devastated coastal towns. (David Guttenfelder/Associated Press) #

Soldiers inspect the devastated area before they use heavy machinery in Noda village, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (Associated Press/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Yoichi Hayashi) #

A photograph amidst rubble in Higashimatsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan, March 14, 2011. (Reuters/Kyodo News) #

Japanese soldiers urge an elderly woman to move to higher ground during a tsunami warning Monday, March 14, 2011, in the harbor of Soma city, Fukushima prefecture, Japan. (Wally Santana/Associated Press) #

A Japanese man walks through a destroyed residential area of tsunami-hit Otsuchi March 14, 2011. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters) #

An emergency worker throws disinfectant powder in an area affected by an earthquake and tsunami in Miyako, Iwate prefecture March 14, 2011. (Aly Song Reuters) #

A Japanese rescue team member walks through the completely leveled village of Saito in northeastern Japan Monday, March 14, 2011. (David Guttenfelder/Associated Press) #

Rescue workers move the body of a patient through the halls of a hospital in Minamisanriku town on March 14, 2011. (Adrees Latif/Reuters) #

Debris is strewn across a large area of land in Natori City, Miyagi prefecture on March 14, 2011. (Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images) #

A joint team from the U.S. Air Force and Marines conduct a search and rescue flight over Sendai airport in this U.S. Air Force handout photo dated March 13, 2011. The team is part of the American disaster relief force in Japan to assist with the earthquake and tsunami recovery effort. (Picture taken March 13, 2011) (US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse/Handout/Reuters) #

Images provided by GeoEye show an area of Natori, Japan on April 4, 2010, left, and March 12, 2011. (GeoEye/Associated Press) #

Images provided by GeoEye show the Arahama area of Sendai, Japan on April 10, 2010, left, and March 12, 2011. (GeoEye/Associated Press) #

Images provided by GeoEye show an area of Yuriage near Miyagi Prefecture, Japan on April 4, 2010, left, and March 12, 2011. (GeoEye/Associated Press) #

Still images from video footage March 14, 2011, shows the explosion at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex. A hydrogen explosion rocked a crippled nuclear power plant in Japan on Monday where authorities have been scrambling to avert a meltdown following Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami. (NTV via Reuters TV/Reuters) #

A man comforts a woman as she cries in front of her damaged home in the town of Watari in Miyagi prefecture on March 14, 2011. (Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images) #

Rescue members seek survivors in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (The Yomiuri Shimbun, Masamine Kawaguchi/Associated Press) #

Rescue workers carry an elderly man found alive by tsunami survivors buried under rubble along a slope of a hill in Minamisanrikucho in Iwate Prefecture Monday, March 14, 2011. (The Yomiuri Shimbun, Hiroaki Ohno/Associated Press) #

A boy walks through the rubble in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan, March 14, 2011. (Toru Hanai/Reuters) #

A resident wipes tears as she finds no remains of her home, Monday, March 14, 2011, in Soma city, Fukushima prefecture, Japan. (Wally Santana/Associated Press) #

A girl's shoe sits in flood debris Monday, March 14, 2011, in the coastal area of Soma city, Fukushima prefecture, Japan. (Wally Santana/Associated Press) #


 
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