One year after an earthquake and tsunami decimated the northeast coast of Japan, the country continues its extremely costly process of rebuilding. The price of rebuilding after the disaster has already been huge. Japan’s economic losses alone -- US$210 billion in the first nine months following the disaster -- made the 2011 tsunami the costliest natural disaster ever, in the costliest year ever for natural disasters.
The earthquake and tsunami decimated 128,582 buildings and partially destroyed 243,914 others. 320,000 people lost their homes, and an astonishing 90 percent of those who were displaced remain in temporary housing.
According to official estimates, 15,848 people died in the tragedy and another 3,305 people are recorded as missing. Many that survived lost loved ones to the double disaster that ravaged the country. Now, a year later, survivors like Mori Heizabur consider themselves lucky to have lived through the catastrophe.
Despite widespread economic loss and the deaths of thousands, Japan’s earthquake and tsunami were not the deadliest in history. Those titles belong to the 1556 Shannxi earthquake and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which claimed 830,000 and 310,000 lives, respectfully.
How did the devastating Tohoku tsunami compare to other natural disasters? Check out the infographic below to compare.
CORRECTION:A previous version of the article and infographic above included an incorrect estimate for the Indian Ocean Tsunami death toll. The current version reflects the correct death toll.