The beginning of the catastrophe where the world stood still was on March 11, 2011 at 2:46pm, Tokyo time. A magnitude 9 earthquake shook northeastern Japan for 6 minutes. It was one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in the world. However, the resulting tsunami was even worse, killing more than 15,000 people, not including the thousands of people that are still missing. Furthermore, the tsunami caused a level 7 nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. According to the Japanese government, the total damages are estimated at 300 billion USD.
“In union there is strength” – is a Japanese adage, which relates to the time after the disaster, where Japan was not alone in this tragedy. More than 100 countries offered help after the disaster. Food, blankets, rescue equipment, money, and more were donated. Rescue teams from all over the world came to Japan to help and also private persons did what they could. It was a big humanitarian response and now 5 years after the earthquake in 2016, Japan is finally overcoming 3/11. Certainly, more has to be done, but rebuilding activities in Tohoku have made good progress and people are already able to return their homes.
Additionally, the Tohoku area is gaining more popularity in terms of tourism and business. The area boasts natural and cultural heritage sites with areas perfect for sport activities, such as skiing. Currently, Tohoku is undertaking several actions to become a national and international business hub. Thanks to the help and compassion of many people, the once disaster-desolated Tohoku is now changing and heading to a bright future.