Japan is preparing to observe the first anniversary of the killer earthquake and tsunami.

The disaster, which began March.11, 2011, involved a magnitude-9.0 earthquake on the Pacific floor that sent a massive wall of water towards the coastline of Japan. The terrifying waves left over 15,850 dead and around 3287 people still missing.

Thousands of people lost their family and many became homeless. What worsened the condition was the meltdown of three nuclear reactors within the country that led to evacuations of hundreds of thousands of people close to the nuclear zone.

Following the quake, the three operating reactors at Fukushima Daiichi automatically shut down. However, just 41 minutes later, the tsunami burst through the plant's defenses and inundated the reactor buildings.

Water flowed through the emergency generators affecting the power that controlled the cooling systems. Although the workers struggled to control the heating, emergency systems failed and the three reactors melted down.

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Though emergency services and rescue missions worked to rebuild the constructions and find missing people, yet thousands of people still remain without homes living in temporary dwellings.

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 around $122 billion.

Start the slideshow to get a glimpse of the 10 most iconic images of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami: