The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku was the most powerful known earthquake ever to have hit Japan, and one of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900.The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 40.5 metres (133 ft) in Miyako in Tōhoku’s Iwate Prefecture, and which, in the Sendai area, travelled up to 10 km (6 mi) inland. Continue reading to see what some of the most devastated areas look like today.

The aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami included both a humanitarian crisis and a major economic impact. The tsunami resulted in over 340,000 displaced people in the Tōhoku region, and shortages of food, water, shelter, medicine and fuel for survivors. In response the Japanese government mobilized the Self-Defense Forces, while many countries sent search and rescue teams to help search for survivors. Aid organizations both in Japan and worldwide also responded, with the Japanese Red Cross reporting $1 billion in donations. The economic impact included both immediate problems, with industrial production suspended in many factories, and the longer term issue of the cost of rebuilding which has been estimated at Y10 trillion ($122 billion). In comparison to the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake, the East Japan Earthquake brought serious damage to an extremely wide range.