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Japan's horrific tsunami: before and after

Our gallery of Japan’s coastal cities before and after Friday’s tsunami underlines the true extent of the country’s devastation.

THE HORRIFIC TSUNAMI that has devastated Japan this weekend has left scenes of total destruction in its wake, and as many as 10,000 people dead.

At present, over a million homes are still without water, while almost four times that many will have to make do without electricity at any one time, as the authorities began rotating the finite power supply to different areas of the country.

Here, using photographs supplied by Google, is a gallery showing exactly the effects the tsunami has had on some of Japan’s coastal towns, cities and ports.

Japan's horrific tsunami: before and after
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  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (01)

    Arahama, Sendai, 2008.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (02)

    Arahama, Sendai, photographed Saturday.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (03)

    Yuriage, Natori, 2008
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (04)

    Yuriage, Natori, last Saturday.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (05)

    Fujitsuka, Sendai, photographed 2008...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (06)

    ...and again on Saturday.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (07)

    An overhead photo of Sendai airport, 2003.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (08)

    An overhead photo of Sendai airport, 2011.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (09)

    Another photo of Yuriage, in Natori. 2008.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (10)

    Here's the same scene, as of this weekend.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (11)

    The Fukushima I power plant, where two explosions have occurred, photographed in 2004.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (12)

    Here's the plant, pictured on Saturday. The square buildings to the left, and on the right of centre, have both exploded over the weekend.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (13)

    Here's another overhead image of Fukushima I this weekend.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (14)

    Kamaishi, seen before and after the tsunami.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (15)

    Kashimaku, Minamisoma. Photographed earlier in 2011.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (16)

    Kashimaku, Minamisoma. Photographed this weekend.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (17)

    Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture. Photo 2007.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (18)

    Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture. Photo: Saturday.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (19)

    The port of Iigohama, Miyagi, photographed in 2007...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (20)

    ...and again this weekend.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (21)

    The coastal town of Yagawahama, Miyagi, photographed in 2007...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (22)

    ...and again last Saturday, after the tsunami had struck.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (23)

    Kashima, Minamisoma, 2003...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (24)

    ...Kashima, Minamisoma, 2011.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (25)

    Haranomachi, Minamisoma, 2003...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (26)

    ...Haranomachi, Minamisoma, 2011.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (27)

    This Google composite image shows Yuriage (top) and Yagawahama (bottom). Both are in the Miyagi prefecture. Left is before the tsunami, and right is after it.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (28)

    Terashima, Sendai, 2003...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (29)

    ...Terashima, Sendai, 2011.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (30)

    Yamoto in Sendai, photographed 2004...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (31)

    ...and again over the weekend.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (32)

    The centre of the bustling city of Ishinomaki, 2003...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (33)

    ...and again over the weekend, after the tsunami hit.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (34)

    Here's an industrial site just south of the Fukushima I power plant, pictured in 2004...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (35)

    ...the same area, today, is a devastating scene.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (36)

    Here's a village 3km south of Fukushima I...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (37)

    ...and pictured again on Saturday, after it had been evacuated amid fears of a nuclear leak at the plant.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (38)

    Tomioka, Fukushima, photographed last year...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (39)

    ...and again, seen over the weekend.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (40)

    Here's the Fukushima II nuclear plant, which has also posed problems this weekend. Pictured in 2004...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (41)

    ...and again this weekend.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (42)

    Here's the railway town of Onahama, pictured in 2005...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (43)

    ...and again this weekend - again, a scene of total destruction.
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (44)

    The city of Ueda, in Iwaki, as seen in 2005...
  • Japan's Tsunami - before and after (45)

    ...and as scene this weekend, as the tsunami waters begin to slowly ebb away.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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