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Mar 11

Japan Tsunami Impact Still Felt Heavily Two Years Later

Posted by: Vicki Thomas in DRJ Blogs

Tagged in: Japan Earthquake

Vicki Thomas

Today marks a rather somber anniversary - the anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that attacked and devastated Japan. Over 18,500 people were killed, 300,000 people were displaced and there are still 3,000 people unaccounted for. 

Along with the deaths and missing people are the residual impacts this disaster left behind: countless people are still displaced, reconstruction is slow to happen, many small business owners are still left waiting for government assistance, and questions still linger about how this disaster could have been predicted.

Citizens of Japan marked the anniversary with a somber ceremonies through out the country. People gathered in the capital, Tokyo, and in many smaller communities and at 2:46 p.m. observed a moment of silence. The 9.0 earthquake hit the country at precisely this time two years ago today.

We have collected some online articles and videos that highlight the impact such a disaster can have on a nation:


  • BBC Science in Action: this radio documentary examines how the earthquake and tsunami could have been predicted and looks at technology that could be used to prevent future incidents.
  • Christian Science Monitor: this article takes a closer look at the businesses that are thriving and those that aren't. As well it discusses some of the initiatives that have occurred to help people out.
  • Euronews: this article uses very powerful images to show us what different areas of the country looked like on March 11, 2011 and what they look like today.
  • CBC: many questions remain about how and why this 9.0 earthquake was not detected before it struck and who can and should be held accountable for such mistakes.

Unfortunately, this is a stark reminder of why it is so important to be prepared and have plan in place. For the citizens of Japan who were simply going about their daily routine, many have been left helpless - displaced to temporary housing, unable to resume their way of life and living in areas of the country in which they are not close to their family members. 

An event like this is one from which all governments, large corporations and organizations should be analyzing and learning from. How can such disasters be predicted? How can the damages (personal and financial) be mitigated? How can we help those who have been hurt and displaced? What is the strategy for rebuilding communities? Is there a fund that can be accessed when such disasters occur? 

The time to ask these questions is now - not two years after the disaster.