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In pictures: The aftermath, and the progress in Japan Add to ...

On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit with a 9.0 earthquake followed by a Tsunami that swept away cars, homes and people and left heaps of debris on land. One year later, much of the wreckage has been removed. Compare photos of the same locations after the tsunami and after the clean-up.

 

Miyako streets very different a year later

Traffic moves down the same streets that were flooded after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan March 11, 2011. (Miyako City Office/Reuters) (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

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after

Towering piles of twisted metal

Residents of Kesennuma, Japan, cross a road in the destroyed part of the city. 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 centres. But the process of destroying all that debris has been slow, with much of it still sitting in huge mountains in temporary holding areas. (David Guttenfelder/AP Photo)

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Ship remains a reminder of nature's power

Close to a year later a ship still sits in the destroyed residential neighborhood in Kesennuma, Japan. 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. (David Guttenfelder/AP Photo)

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after

The Miyako seawall

A wave from the tsunami crashes over a seawall in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck the area March 11, 2011. The same area is seen almost a year later. The Japan Meteorological Agency reported maximum tsunami heights of 4.1 metres at Kamaishi at 3:21 p.m., 7.3 metres at 3:50 p.m. at Soma, and 4.2 metres at 4:52 p.m. at Oarai. (Miyako City Office/Reuters) (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

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Fishing community slow to rebuild

Two residents are seen in almost the same spot as two officials almost a year after the tsunami - and earthquake - destroyed the town of Onagawa in northeastern Japan. Last year's devastating tsunami sent many residents of this fishing community running toward the safest place they knew, the local nuclear power plant. (David Guttenfelder/AP Photo)

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Hints of progress

A year after the earthquake and tsunami killed around 19,000 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. (David Guttenfelder/AP Photo)

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Back to work in Miyako fishing port

Cars are parked and people are back to work a year after the tsunami smashed into the fishing port of Miyako in northeastern Japan. (Miyako City Office/Reuters) (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

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Life continues

Waters have receded and life moves on as traffic passes vacant lots where buildings once stood a year after the tsunami ripped through Miyako. (Miyako City Office/Reuters) (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

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CHRISTOPHER MANZA, DAVE LUCAS and LAURA BLENKINSOP/THE GLOBE AND MAIL