On Friday, March 11, there was a 9.0 earthquake just off the east coast of Japan. Shortly thereafter, a large tsunami hit the coast and devoured what was left after the earthquake. The earthquake was so bad, that the position of Japan moved 17 feet to the east and changed the axis of the earth.
The devastation is horrific. Because Japan is a much more developed nation than many of the islands in Indonesia, the damage is much worse than that of the earthquake and tsunami of December 26, 2004 in Banda Aceh. Luckily, the loss of life is far less due to tsunami warning systems and such.
This building was first destroyed by the earthquake, then by the tsunami, and then a fire finished it off.
This is a picture of part of the tsunami coming in. It just washed right over everything.
The waves in some areas were over 11 meters high, which is about 33 feet. They came in at about 500 miles per hour. It's no wonder everything in it's path was just swept away. They found that the waves travelled at least 5 miles inland in some areas.
All of these cars were lined up and ready to be loaded onto ships bound for the U.S. and other places around the world. The tsunami just picked them up and shoved them on top of each other and into a big pile.
And then, as if that wasn't enough damage, many of them caught file and were completely destroyed.
As the tsunami dragged a bunch of homes out to sea, many of them caught fire as well.
This luxury yacht ended up on top of a building...
...and so did these cars. That tells you just how high the waves were. Devastating. Just devastating.
Every time I see this picture, I want to cry. This poor girl, just sitting there crying her heart out at the death and destruction...the anguish on her face says it all.
This used to be a beautiful village. Now, everything is just gone. Ripped from the foundations. Washed out to sea. Gone. Just gone.
This was a bustling waterfront community. Now, the only thing that remains are the hospital and the shells of a few buildings.
This picture captured a house just floating out to sea. Weird. Sad.
Now, this picture just amazed me. A huge fishing ship...just sitting on the road. It was literally just lifted up out of the water and deposited on the road. Do you realize how much those ships weigh? A LOT!
There are a number of nuclear power plants that have been severely damaged and are exposing residents to radiation.
There are fears that the radiation will spread to the United States through the jet stream in the upper atmosphere. The International Atomic Energy Agency had originally rated this as a level 4 accident, but has now upgraded it to a level 5.
It's not very big. And it's quite a ways away from us.