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Japan Tsunami Anniversary: Interactive Photos Before And After

Japan Tsunami Anniversary

First Posted: 03/11/2012 12:51 pm Updated: 03/11/2012 12:51 pm

On the first anniversary of the 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11, 2011, the debris and destruction continue to litter the lands and minds of Japanese people.

The interactive graphics below let you visualize the power Mother Nature exerted last year, turning man-made behemoths into mangled bricolage in just minutes. You'll be able to see how the Sendai port, a soccer field in Minamisanriku and Onahama in Iwaka looked pre- and post-disaster. If you look closely at the soccer field, you can see how the familiar, painted circles and rectangles transformed into a giant "SOS." These images fit in line with the costliest natural disaster on record

You can also check out more interactive before-and-after photos here.

Industrial area near Sendai port, 2009 © 2011 Google
Industrial area near Sendai port, March 13 2011 © 2011 Google, GeoEye

Soccer field in Minamisanriku in 2002. © 2011 Google, DigitalGlobe
SOS on soccer field in Minamisanriku. © 2011 Google, GeoEye

Onahama in Iwaki in 2005 © 2011 Google, DigitalGlobe
Onahama in Iwaki after tsunami © 2011 Google, DigitalGlobe

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  • In this combination photo, Tayo Kitamura, 40, kneels in the street to caress and talk to the wrapped body of her mother Kuniko Kitamura, 69, after Japanese firemen discovered the dead body in the ruins of her home in Onagawa, Japan, on March 19, 2011, top, and a newly built home sits at the site of the now-cleared but destroyed area on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • A few homes have been rebuilt in the year since an earthquake and tsunami roared across Japan's coastline, killing 19,000 people. But most communities remain unrecognizable, and their residents' futures uncertain. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • The tsunami that slammed into Japan's coastline one year ago was merciless, sparing little in its path. Homes were reduced to rubble, cars tossed about like toys, and boats -- such as this one photographed in Kesennuma, Japan, on March 28, 2011 -- flung from the sea into streets and onto roofs. The ocean's fury, and the earthquake that preceded it, left around 19,000 people dead, hundreds of thousands homeless, and sparked the worst nuclear crisis the world had seen in a quarter century. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • In this combination photo, Japanese vehicles pass through the ruins of the leveled city of Minamisanriku, Japan, on March 15, 2011, top, four days after the tsunami, and vehicles pass through the same area on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • The earthquake and tsunami, which killed around 19,000 people, delivered one of their worst hits to the once-scenic, blue-collar fishing town of Minamisanriku, Japan, photographed here on March 15, 2011. The wall of water spared little in its path, sweeping away nearly every business and every job, and leaving more than half the town's residents dead or homeless. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • A year after the earthquake and tsunami people across Japan and leveled this town, there are hints of progress _ the main roads are free of debris, and some temporary houses have been built. But many in Minamisanriku, and elsewhere across Japan's battered coastline, remain in a hellish state of limbo. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • In this combination photo, a ship washed away by the tsunami sits in a destroyed residential neighborhood in Kesennuma, northeastern Japan, on March 28, 2011, top, and the same ship sits on the same spot on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • A year after an earthquake and tsunami ravaged the country's coastline and killed around 19,000 people, many of the boats carried inland by the wall of water have been removed. But some, like this one, remain _ providing a stark reminder of nature's fearsome power. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder File)

  • One year later, more than 3,200 people presumed killed in the earthquake and tsunami have yet to be found. They are among the 19,000 people who lost their lives on March 11, 2011. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • In this combination photo, Japanese residents of Kesennuma, northeastern Japan, pass through a road that was cleared by bulldozer through the ruins of the city on March 17, 2011, six days after the tsunami, top, and people cross the same street on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • In the days after the earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan's coastal towns, the bulldozers began to arrive, clearing away the rubble that littered the roads, such as this street in Kesennuma, Japan, photographed on March 17, 2011. Those tasked with clearing away the wreckage faced a monstrous task: towering piles of twisted metal and wood, boats perched atop roofs, mountains of family heirlooms, sodden furniture and children's toys. They also faced the grim reality that many of the 19,000 people killed lay entombed in the rubble, waiting to be discovered. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • One year after a powerful tsunami battered Japan and killed around 19,000 people, the streets have been cleared and the wreckage removed from town centers. But the process of destroying all that debris has been slow, with much of it still sitting in huge mountains in temporary holding areas. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

  • Also On The Huffington Post...

    A 132-ton concrete dock from Japan has washed ashore at Oregon's Agate Beach State Park. Ripped loose from Japan during last year's tsunami, it's now drawing thousands of gawkers to the shoreline.


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Filed by Ryan Craggs  |