March 11 marks the 1 year anniversary of the fifth largest earthquake to have ever been recorded and the effects of the event are still felt today. About 40 miles off the northeast coast of Japan, the 9.0 magnitude quake wreaked carnage to the islands of Japan, triggering a devastating tsunami with waves as high as 30 feet. The crushing waves crippled the Fukushima nuclear power plant and forced the nuclear reactors to meltdown. The Fukushima disaster caused the surrounding land, air, and water to be contaminated and forced people out of their home permanently. Efforts to contain the radiation are still ongoing.
The tsunami put over 300,000 people out of homes and 20,000 people were either killed or are considered still missing. Entire towns were covered with nothing but debris and 90 percent of the population in the area was forced to flee to safety.
But Japan is resilient. The country of Japan and its people are determined to restore Japan to its original state. The government has spent billions of dollars and the people of Japan have spent countless hours restoring their devastated lands to what it once was. Workers are currently decontaminating the homes of those who were forced to evacuate by scraping the top two inches of the soil in the area. Towns that were once reduced to just rubble are now being repopulated with buildings and infrastructure at an amazing pace. No matter how long it takes, the Japanese are committed to making their lands flourish once more.