Japan Earthquake, Tsunami First Anniversary - 10 Iconic Images

  on March 08 2012 1:00 AM
  • 10 Most Iconic Images of Japan Earthquake and Tsunami a Year After
    Houses are swept by water following a tsunami and earthquake in Natori City in northeastern Japan March 11, 2011. Reuters
  • 10 Most Iconic Images of Japan Earthquake and Tsunami a Year After
    Houses swept out to sea burn following a tsunami and earthquake in Natori City in northeastern Japan March 11, 2011. Reuters
  • 10 Most Iconic Images of Japan Earthquake and Tsunami a Year After
    A whirlpool is seen near Oarai City, Ibaraki Prefecture, northeastern Japan Reuters
  • 10 Most Iconic Images of Japan Earthquake and Tsunami a Year After
    Woman looks at the damage caused by a tsunami and earthquake in Ishimaki City in 2011. Reuters
  • 10 Most Iconic Images of Japan Earthquake and Tsunami a Year After
    The wave from a tsunami crashes over a street in Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture in northeastern Japan Reuters
  • 10 Most Iconic Images of Japan Earthquake and Tsunami a Year After
    A girl who has been isolated at a makeshift facility to screen, cleanse and isolate people with high radiation levels, looks at her dog through a window in Nihonmatsu, northern Japan, March 14, 2011, after a massive earthquake and tsunami that are feared to have killed more than 10,000 people. Reuters
  • 10 Most Iconic Images of Japan Earthquake and Tsunami a Year After
    A woman cries while sitting on a road amid the destroyed city of Natori, Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan Reuters
  • 10 Most Iconic Images of Japan Earthquake and Tsunami a Year After
    Heavy snow falls on rubble and rescue workers at a devastated factory area hit by an earthquake and tsunami in Sendai, northern Ja Reuters
  • 10 Most Iconic Images of Japan Earthquake and Tsunami a Year After
    Medical staff use a Geiger counter to screen a woman for possible radiation exposure at a public welfare centre in Hitachi City Reuters
  • 10 Most Iconic Images of Japan Earthquake and Tsunami a Year After
    Survivors react after collecting their belongings at their destroyed house in a village hit by an earthquake and tsunami in Otsuchi Reuters
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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.

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:

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