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Five Years On

Photographer: Kimimasa Mayama


Five years on, after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the ensuing disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, some of the affected places have seen big changes. Entire landscapes of tsunami-devastated areas have been affected after land was raised 15 meters or more in some parts to prevent another tsunami, especially in residential areas and national highways.


In some places, it looks like residents are returning to everyday life, whereas in others, the land is still filled with wreckage and debris, and is just beginning to get cleaned up. All reminders of how some of these places looked are gone and some residents say that reconstruction progress is very slow.


About 15,894 people were killed in the disaster and 2,562 are still missing, according to Japan's National Police Agency as of February 2016. Some 174,471 people are still living in shelters. People have lost family members, loved ones, friends, houses and jobs. Five years on, on 11 March 2016, Japan is still coming to terms with the consequences of what is considered to be the most powerful earthquake to have hit the country and the ensuing humanitarian and environmental catastrophe.