When two of the Earth’s tectonic plates collided, a tragedy unfolded. The calamity on 11 March claimed more than 15,000 lives and triggered the biggest nuclear incident since the Chernobyl disaster.
The 2011 Tohoku earthquake, with a magnitude of 9.0, struck Japan on 11 March. One of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded triggered the deadly tsunami that killed thousands of people and caused overwhelming damage that required an international response.
After the quake, Japan faced both a humanitarian crisis and economic setback. Tens of thousands of buildings were destroyed, roughly half a million people lost their home. According to official data, dealing with the consequences of the disaster cost the Japanese government $199 billion.
Sputnik has selected a series of images, portraying the aftermath of one of the deadliest natural disasters of the 21st century.