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April 10, 2011

Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, Japan Illuminated by car headlights, tsunami survivor Tadao Kamei (left) and a friend write ‘Ganbaro!’ (‘Hang in there!’) on a billboard in Ishinomaki. On 11 March, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck 70 kilometers off the Tohoku coast, in northeastern Japan. The quake triggered a tsunami that swept inland over an area of some 500 square kilometers, destroying buildings, crippling infrastructure, and resulting in the displacement of more than 340,000 people. The earthquake was the most powerful ever to hit Japan, and one of the most forceful documented in the world. Flooding and damage to transport connections, power stations, and other vital facilities severely hindered recovery operations.

Commissioned by: Agence France-Presse

Location: Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture, Japan


Photo Credit: Yasuyoshi Chiba

Yasuyoshi Chiba is a Japanese photographer. After studying photography and holography at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, he joined Asahi Shimbun as a staff photographer. He became a freelancer in 2007 and moved to Kenya. In 2011, he moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil and started working as a staff photographer for Agence France-Presse. His photographs from the post-presidential election chaos in Kenya won several awards, including a prize in the 2009 World Press Photo Contest.


Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2017

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