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The Sendai Earthquake in Pictures

Natural Disasters

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called the Sendai earthquake the “most difficult crisis” for his country since World War II and says that he has faith that his country will have the strength to overcome this disaster. The official death toll still stands around 1,200 with another 1,000 reported missing and 1,700 injured. However, the badly-hit coastal town, Minami Sanriku, in Myagi Prefecture, cannot account for nearly 10,000 of its residents — half its population. At the same time, the country is struggling to prevent a nuclear meltdown at its damaged power plants as well as a potential second explosion. (According to Noriyuki Shikata, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister, the situation at the Fukushima Denai power plant is “under control.”) As of this writing, 160 people have been tested for radiation exposure which may have occurred while they were waiting to be evacuated.

Japanese officials have increased the earthquake’s magnitude to 9.0 and they continue to feel strong aftershocks. And because of the sustained activity at the faults, there is a chance that another magnitude 7.0 earthquake could occur. More images from the aftermath after the jump.

First, a basic look at the area affected (pic via BBC):

Gizmodo has a picture that shows the Toyko Tower bent after the quake:

This gallery at The Atlantic (which featured the top pic) shows a close look at an entire town being swept away by the tsunami:

In a shot that looks so terrifying that it should only occur in fiction, this is a road that split (via BuzzFeed):

One of the less visceral but more freaky videos that has been making the rounds is this footage of skyscrapers swaying during the quake:

This video, however, gives new meaning to the word “unbelievable”: buildings, on fire, being washed away by the tsunami (via Discover’s Bad Astronomy):

But what might be the most compelling images to come out of the coverage of the Sendai earthquake are the before-and-after satellite pictures compiled by Google. If you click this link, you will find larger pictures that will let you hover over to see how the tsunami erased entire towns.

The charity of choice still seems to be the Red Cross, which is providing the option to send $10 donations by texting REDCROSS to 90999.


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