18 Mar 2011

Japan Tsunami

In 1 of 20 unforgettable pictures of Japan's tsunami aftermath chosen by National Geographic photo editors, rescue team members carry the body of a man through splintered remains of the village of Saito on Monday.
The town is just one of many nearly erased from Japan's northeastern coast, where water, electricity, and telecommunications are largely unavailable.
As of Monday an estimated 350,000 people are reportedly homeless in the wake of Friday's magnitude 8.9 earthquake—Japan's biggest on record. According to the police chief of hard-hit Miyagi Prefecture, at least 10,000 are dead, the Washington Post reported.
Meanwhile, Tuesday morning (local time) brought fresh cause for concern from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where emergency efforts to use seawater to cool one of three malfunctioning nuclear reactors failed temporarily, the New York Times reported. As water levels dipped, fuel rods were likely exposed to air, increasing the chances of melting—and of a catastrophic meltdown.
Add to this the threat of further earthquakes—the U.S. Geological Survey registered nearly a hundred aftershocks on Sunday alone—and, for now, there seems to be little light at the end of what Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called Japan's "worst crisis since World War II."

A mother tries to talk to her daughter, who has been isolated due to signs of radiation at a makeshift facility in Nihonmatsu, Japan, on March 14. The daughter is among people evacuated from the vicinity of Fukushima's damaged nuclear plants.

A tsunami-tossed boat rests on top of a building amid a sea of debris in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture,

A tsunami wave crashes over a street in Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture, in northeastern

A survivor walks his bicycle through the remains of the devastated Japanese town of Otsuchi on March 14.
Swaddled in blankets, evacuated tsunami survivors try to keep warm in a Japanese Red Cross hospital on March 13.

A boy walks past vehicles damaged by the Japan earthquake and tsunami in Tagajo

People search through debris at the Sendai airport on March 14, days after an earthquake-triggered tsunami left the Japanese city in ruins.

A survivor of the recent Japan earthquake reads a list of other survivors in a shelter in Iwate Prefecture on March 13.

A woman mourns the devastation of Natori, Miyagi Prefecture

An emergency worker throws disinfectant powder on the ground around earthquake-damaged buildings in Iwate Prefecture, Japan, on March 14

Flames and smoke billow from a petroleum-refining plant damaged by the Japan earthquake in Shiogama

The hand of a man killed by the Japan earthquake juts out of jumbled concrete sea barriers

Rescue workers search for Japan earthquake victims amid shattered houses in Tamura, Iwate Prefecture

A rescue worker surveys the devastation on March 14 in the Japanese village of Saito, which was leveled by the earthquake-triggered tsunami.

Coated with mud, a photo album lies amid debris in the earthquake-ravaged town of Natori

A lone vehicle passes a train overpass mangled by the recent earthquake in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, on March 12

Tsunami survivors embrace to celebrate being alive in the destroyed city of Kesennuma,

On March 13 rescue workers approach Hiromitsu Shinkawa, a 60-year-old man from Japan's Minamisoma City who washed out to sea during the recent tsunami and spent days clinging to a piece of roofing.

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