We're creeping up on the one-year anniversary of the March 11th earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown that turned northeastern Japan upside-down.
23 million tons of debris is said to be scattered around areas hit by the tsunami. The photo on the side shows just how impossible it looked to clean the mess up - but as the before/after shot shows, some Herculean efforts have been made to successfully clean up the towns. $50 billion has already been budgeted for cleanup, and it's likely more money will come.
That doesn't mean the whole region is totally fixed. The nuclear situation, while under control, isn't resolved and won't be for a long time. More than 19,000 people lost their lives, breaking as many families. Tens of thousands of people still live in temporary housing and tens of thousands more will always be upset that they can never go home again. The Japanese people's trust in their government was broken and that wound will take a long time to heal.
Still, Japan has a long history of cleaning up after disasters. To visit Kobe today, following its huge earthquake in 1996, you wouldn't know a massive disaster had struck there.
Like the 'after' photos show, Japan will march on.
via Daily Mail [UK]