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In pictures: How the disaster in Japan unfolded

Cities, towns and farmland seriously damaged by the 8.9 magnitude quake today, which then triggered tsunami.

Updated at 2.40 pm

AS JAPAN BRACES itself for serious aftershocks, the extent of damage caused by this morning’s 8.9 magnitude quake is only just revealing itself.

This series of photographs shows the quake – and ensuing tsunami – as they happened:

In pictures: How the disaster in Japan unfolded
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    Light airplanes and vehicles lie scattered in debris of the tsunami which hit Sendai airport in northern Japan today.
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  • Japan earthquake/ Miyagi

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    Light planes and vehicles look like children's toys scattered near Sendai airport after the tsunami struck. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    Tsunami swirls near a port in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    Waves of tsunami hit residences in Natori, Miyagi prefecture. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    Giant fireballs rise from a burning oil refinery in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture. (PA Images)
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    People evacuated to a rooftop of a building look at other buildings damaged by tsunami tidal waves at a port in Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture. (AP Photo/Keichi Nakane, The Yomiuri Shimbun)
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    A truck is stranded on a road damaged by the quake in Iwaki city, Fukushima prefecture. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    Black smoke rises from a building in Tokyo's Odaiba bay area. (AP Photo/Yasushi Kanno, The Yomiuri Shimbun)
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    Trucks and boats are overturned on a pier in a port in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    Residents walk through the rubble of houses collapsed in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    A man wades through a flooded street after the tsunami spawned by a powerful earthquake in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    Sendai Airport tarmac submerged in Miyagi Prefecture (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    A ruined bus stop was crushed by a fallen wall in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    The ceiling begins to fall in at the same bookstore in Sendai, northern Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    People react at a book store in Sendai as the ceiling begins to collapse. (PA Images)
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    Tokyo Fire Department rescue workers arrive at Kudan Kaikan in Tokyo as local media said its ceiling collapsed on top of people (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
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    Houses burn even as their are enveloped by the tsunami in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture in Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    The tsunami spreads across the tarmac and car park at Sendai Airport. (PA Images)
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    Yurikamome train passengers walk on the elevated track towards Shiodome Station in Tokyo's Shiodome district near Tokyo Bay Friday, March 11, 2011, shortly after a 7.9-magnitude earthquake has struck off Japan's northeastern coast. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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    Locals in the Miyagi Prefecture, Tohoku area, watches a huge tidal wave. (The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images)
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    The destruction at Kesennuma port in Miyagi Prefecture, Tohoku area, north Japan. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )
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    A mother and child crouch in the street as the earthquake hits Tokyo. (PA Images)
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    The tsunami strikes Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    Hotel employees gather at the hotel's entrance in Tokyo, Japan while the earthquake hits. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
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    A burning building in Tokyo today. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    Black smoke rises from a burning building in Tokyo's Odaiba area after Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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    Reporters at the Associated Press Tokyo Bureau take shelter during the earthquake. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Additional reporting by Andrew Wade

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