Japan’s children of the tsunami shaped by tragedy

Japan’s 2011 Disaster By The Numbers

Japan this month marks 10 years since the worst natural disaster in the country’s living memory — the massive earthquake, deadly tsunami and nuclear meltdown of March 11, 2011. The scale of the devastation is difficult to capture, but here are some figures that help paint a picture.

9.0 magnitude quake

The undersea quake that struck at 2.46 p.m. local time on March 11 measured magnitude 9.0 and was one of the most powerful quakes ever recorded. It hit at a depth of around 24 kilometres, roughly 130 kilometres (80 miles) east of Japan’s Miyagi prefecture, and produced violent shaking throughout much of the country.

It was so powerful that it moved Japan’s main Honshu island 2.4 metres east and may even have shifted the Earth itself on its axis.

9.3 metre waves

The quake triggered a tsunami wave that began arriving on Japan’s coast around 30 minutes later…

Japan’s children of the tsunami shaped by tragedy

Yuto Naganuma looks silently as the cold sea breeze sweeps over the crumbling walls of the school where his little brother was lost in Japan’s devastating 2011 tsunami.

Ten years on, Naganuma and others like him form a generation whose young lives were shaped by what is known in Japan as the triple disaster: a powerful earthquake that sparked a terrifying tsunami and the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

The children of the tsunami lost family, homes, schools and entire communities, and for some the experience sparked a drive to work in disaster awareness, or help children like them who have lived with tragedy.

Even a decade on, the devastation Naganuma suffered is raw…

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