Cities Flattened by Japan Tsunami Literally Rise

Photos by David Guttenfelder and Eugene Hoshiko

Where once there was only debris and destruction, and then a year later a cleared but barren landscape, now there is fresh earth.

Tons of it, covering areas where roads and building foundations once stood, as if to obliterate the past.

A steady stream of trucks is bringing soil and construction materials to towns along Japan’s northeast coast, destroyed by a tsunami of historic proportions on March 11, 2011. It is a massive undertaking to raise the ground level of entire neighborhoods, to better protect them from inundation, before rebuilding from scratch.

Five years after the disaster, construction work is clearly underway but far from done. Rebuilt roads stretch to the horizon between still largely vacant expanses.

Fishing is the lifeblood of many of these seaside communities, and there are signs of life as new piers and fish processing and refrigeration facilities go up. The progress seems slower in residential areas.

Five years ago, something caught my eye on the side of the road in the deserted city of Onagawa, amid the volunteers, soldiers, rescue workers and others searching and cleaning up: A Japanese flag, dingy and flapping in the wind, in the middle of the debris.

The debris is long gone, and with it, the flag. In their place, the flattened city is literally rising, as trucks arrive with more soil, leveled by bulldozers into a hoped-for foundation for the future.


See these photos on APImages.com


Below are galleries with before and after photos of locations showing the destruction after the Tsunami hit in 2011, to the progression of reconstruction by 2016.






 

Text from the AP news story, Photo Gallery: Cities flattened by Japan tsunami literally rise, by Eugene Hoshiko.

 

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Published by AP Images Team

AP Images is the world’s largest collection of historical andcontemporary photos. AP Images provides instant access to AP's iconic photos and adds new content every minute of every day from every corner of the world, making it an essential source of photos and graphics for professional imagebuyers and commercial customers. Whether your needs are for editorial, commercial, or personal use, AP Images has the content and the expert sales team to fulfill your image requirements. Visit apimages.com to learn more.

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