Tohoku Region Rebuilding for a Better Tomorrow
Photo Gallery 1 - Scenery of Recovery
1. Sendai Airport restored
The airport, designed to harmonize with the surrounding city and landscape, reopened one month after the tsunami and stands as a symbol of the reconstruction efforts.
- The runways of Sendai Airport, surrounded by pleasant scenery.
- The tsunami drowned the runways and damaged terminal buildings.
- Sendai Airport resumes operations one month after the tsunami.
2. Aircraft return to the skies
Sendai Airport, gateway to Tohoku, was buried under tsunami rubble. Just one month later, on April 13, the airport resumed operations.
- Sendai international airport handles 25,000 flights and 3 million passengers a year.
- Runways and parked aircraft buried under the rubble.
- April 13. The first flight from the reopened airport.
3. Cargo ships
Most buildings survived the M9 earthquake but were destroyed by the force of the tsunami, which even carried large ships onshore.
- Cargo vessels moored at one of Tohoku's many busy ports.
- The force of the tsunami lifted this 4724 ton ship over the breakwater.
- Seven months after the earthquake, the ship is lifted back into the water.
4. Fishing boats
Most of the region's fishing fleet was damaged by the tsunami, but ports have been restored and amateur fishing groups are hiring boats again.
- Fishing boats moored at a harbor on the Tohoku coast.
- A boat swept deep into town by the tsunami.
- Three months after the tsunami, the fishing fleet is ready to depart.
5. Shinkansen (Bullet Train)
Sendai Station is a key rail hub for the Tohoku area. Shinkansen operations were stopped by the earthquake, but had resumed by April 25.
- JR Sendai Station serves 75,000 passengers a day.
- Roofs collapsed on the Tohoku Shinkansen platform at Sendai Station.
- By April 25, Shinkansen services from Sendai to Tokyo have resumed.
Many families and friends lost contact after the earthquake cut communications. Tears of joy at chance reunions were a common sight.
- Three separated sisters find each other at an evacuation center.
- A husband and wife are reunited again by the harbor.
- Amid the wreckage, old friends meet with a hug.
7. A helping hand
In the face of disaster, people reached out to help others in greater distress. Many survived thanks to assistance gladly given by strangers.
- Everyone lends a helping hand as they flee their wrecked town.
- Warm food is served by volunteers who rushed to the region to help.
- At an evacuation center, a young girl reads to a small boy.
8. Children playing sports
Tohoku's young children quickly find ways to start playing sports again. Their energy and enthusiasm is an inspiration to the nation for the task ahead.
- Donated gear brings smiles back to the faces of a school baseball team.
- A basketball team begins training again, using donated materials.
- Young soccer players are taught by a volunteer coach.
9. Drowned streets
Towns along the coast were hard hit by the tsunami, but daily necessities were soon restored and the massive work of rebuilding is under way.
- After the tsunami, the streets turned into rivers.
- Self Defense Forces carry people to safety.
- The streets are crowded with traffic once again.
Food was scarce in the days after the disaster. Temporary shops opened to supply people's needs, and distribution networks soon recovered.
- After the earthquake cuts supply chains, foodstuffs disappeared from shop shelves.
- No need to worry. Temporary stores are immediately set up as supplies recover.
- The town's bustling markets are once again filled with produce.
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