March 11, around 3:25 p.m. Shinkawa, Miyako, Iwate PrefectureThe tsunami crashes onto the shores of the city of Miyako. The cars swept up in the wave provide chilling testimony to the devastating power of the tsunami. (Image provided by a Miyako City employee.)
March 11, 3:37 p.m. Shizugawa, Minamisanriku, Miyagi PrefecturePeople look back in horror as they flee to higher ground, their homes transformed forever in the space of a few terrible moments.
March 11, around 4 p.m. Iwanuma, Miyagi PrefectureThe tsunami swamps the runway at Sendai Airport. Cars and the shattered shells of houses litter the area. Light aircraft washed up by the tsunami float on a sea of refuse. In the background is the passenger terminal. The airport reopened for domestic flights on April 13.
March 12, 7:40 a.m. Ishinomaki, Miyagi PrefectureThe tsunami left huge stretches of the city underwater.
March 12, 8:10 a.m. Sekigami, Natori, Miyagi PrefectureSelf-Defense Force personnel use a boat to rescue a woman stranded on top of a car.
March 12, 9:30 a.m. Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi PrefectureA baby is rescued by a helicopter team as its mother looks on (right).
March 13, around 9:30 a.m. Minamihama, Ishinomaki, Miyagi PrefectureThe devastation in the town center is reminiscent of a war zone.
March 13, around 2 p.m. Nakasato, Ishinomaki, Miyagi PrefectureA helicopter lifts a disaster victim to safety.
March 13, around 3 p.m. Ōtsuchi, Iwate PrefectureThe tsunami ravaged large stretches of the Pacific coast.
March 14, around midday JR Sendai Station, Sendai, Miyagi PrefectureBuckled ceiling boards fell down onto the Shinkansen bullet train platform. Other damage included collapsed walls and water leaks. Shinkansen trains started running between Tokyo and Sendai on April 25; and complete service was restored to the Tōhoku Shinkansen line on April 29.
Photographs courtesy of Kahoku Shimpō.