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In pictures: Japan's March 2011 tsunami

On 11 March 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the Japanese coast sparked a devastating tsunami that left 22,000 dead or missing.

ON 11 MARCH 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthqauke struck off of the north-eastern coast of Japan, sparking a major tsunami which devastated the nearby coast.

Almost 22,000 people were killed or remain missing.

A quarter of a million people were displaced by the tsunami and around 78,000 people were evacuated from the exclusion zone set up around the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Here are some of the powerful images captured during the tsunami and in the days and weeks that followed as people searched for loved ones and began clearing up their neighbourhoods:

In pictures: Japan's March 2011 tsunami
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    The massive tsunami engulfs a residential area after a powerful earthquake in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture in north-eastern Japan on 11 March, 2011. (Kyodo/PA Images)
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    Buildings burn in Yamada town, Iwate prefecture after Japan's biggest recorded earthquake struck on 11 March, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun/PA Images)
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    A Kyodo News helicopter captured this photo of a whirlpool caused by the tsunami near a port in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture on March 11, 2011. (Kyodo/PA Images)
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    Rescue workers carry an elderly woman who had evacuated to the rooftop of an elementary school onto a Sapporo City fire department helicopter in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture on 12 March 2011. (Kyodo/PA Images)
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    A large vessel is seen stranded among ruins in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture a day after the tsunami struck. (Kyodo/PA Images)
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    One woman stands on a street and inspects the aftermath of the massive tsunami triggered by the 11 March earthquake in Tagajo near Sendai, northern Japan. (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa/PA Images)
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    Checking messages for families and friends posted on a board at an evacuation shelter in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture the day after the earthquake and tsunami. (Kyodo/PA Images)
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    A man searches for a family member in the ruins of tsunami-hit area in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture a week after the earthquake. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama/PA Images)
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    People walk through debris in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, two days after the massive earthquake and tsunami destroyed the city. (Kyodo/PA Images)
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    A resident wipes tears as she finds no remains of her home in Soma city, Fukushima prefecture three days after disaster struck in March 2011. (AP Photo/Wally Santana/PA Images)
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    Members of Japan's self-defence forces wear protective gear and prepare for radioactive decontamination in Nihommatsu, Fukushima Prefecture on 15 March, 2011, after high levels of radiation were detected in the area. (Kyodo/PA Images)
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    Evacuees are screened for radiation contamination at a testing center in Koriyama city, Fukushima prefecture on 15 March 2011. (AP Photo/Wally Santana/PA Images)
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    A passenger ship left on top of a building in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture by the tsunami. (Kyodo/PA Images)
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    Ritsuko Oikawa, 84, walks in the rubble towards the ruins of her house in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi/PA Images)
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    A tsunami survivor walks through a street in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture flanked by the rubble of houses and a boat. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi/PA Images)
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    This photo taken one month after the disasters shows Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, where ships remain abandoned on land after being swept ashore. (Kyodo/PA Images)
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    Weeks after the tsunami and earthquake, Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force searches for missing persons at a point some 4.5km from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the town of Namie. (Kyodo/PA Images)
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    This pictures shows the tsunami, triggered by a powerful earthquake, approaching the fuel oil tanks of the No 5 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on 11 March, 2011. (TEPCO/Kyodo/PA Images)
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    Dogs run around a town of Minami Soma, inside the deserted evacuation zone established around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex in northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae/PA Images)
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    Residents wait for rescuers on the balcony of the debris-dangling house in Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture on 12 March, 2011 (left). The same building, right, with the debris almost cleared as photographed on 3 June, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News/PA Images)

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