Japan earthquake: Photos of the devastation and recovery efforts

Slide show: Rescue workers from around the world help pick up the pieces from the earthquake and tsunami

By Adam Clark Estes
Published March 15, 2011 8:20PM (EDT)

Four days after the earthquake, volunteers and victims alike work around the clock to rescue any remaining survivors. From the 70-year-old woman pulled from the wreckage alive to the 60-year-old man found floating on his roof 10 miles offshore, the efforts are nothing short of heroic. The damage, however, is catastrophic. While the earthquake caused significant damage throughout northern Japan, the tsunami erased entire cities on the eastern coast in a matter of moments. Kesennuma and Natori are just two of many once-thriving towns that now amount to piles of twisted metal and splintered wood.

For residents near the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the threat of danger lingers as technicians struggle to keep the reactors under control. Authorities have instructed 140,000 residents near the plant to stay in their homes to avoid exposure and the process of decontamination is ongoing.

We've collected some of the most shocking images from Japan over the past few days in a slide show.

Adam Clark Estes

Adam Clark Estes blogs the news for Salon. Email him at ace@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @adamclarkestes

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Japan Japan Earthquake Natural Disasters