Six Years After Fukushima

On the afternoon of March 11, 2011, a massive 9.0 underwater earthquake struck near the eastern coast of Japan. The quake triggered several tsunami waves – some reaching over 40 meters – that devastated Japan and left an estimated almost 16,000 people dead, over 2,500 missing, as well as several billions of dollars worth of damage.

The tsunami also triggered what is now known as the Fukushima Daiiichi nuclear disaster, the worst since Chernobyl in 1986. 

While the active reactors were automatically stopped after the earthquake, the resulting waves wrecked the machinery necessary to cool reactors. Three nuclear meltdowns and radioactive material released into the air over the following three days have left the area extremely dangerous, even now, six years later. 

Here, photos documenting the damage of the 2011 disaster.

Carlos Barria / Reuters