Mar 25, 2011

Japan: Then and Now Images

For so many of us, it’s nearly impossible to understand the devastation that occurred in Japan following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami — images from the disaster may be the closest many of us may come to comprehending the scale of destruction.  MapQuest recently obtained aerial images from our partners i-cubed and GeoEye, and we wanted to share these with you. Below are two sets of before-and-after images, as well as additional links to images of other areas and ways to support the relief and recovery efforts.  To see larger versions or to zoom in, click on the image.

Before: Yuriage, Japan, just south of Sendai. Aerial image from April 2010

Before: Yuriage, Japan, just south of Sendai. Aerial image from April 2010

After: Same area as of March 12, 2011.  Like many neighboring coastal cities, Yuriage was nearly completely wiped out by the tsunami

After: Same area as of March 12, 2011. Like many neighboring coastal cities, Yuriage was nearly completely wiped out by the tsunami

Before: Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Facility. Aerial image from November 2009

Before: Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Facility. Aerial image from November 2009

After: Same area as of March 17, 2011. Several reactors were heavily damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. Authorities continue work to stabilize the reactors and prevent further radiation leakage.

After: Same area as of March 17, 2011. Several reactors were heavily damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. Authorities continue work to stabilize the reactors and prevent further radiation leakage.

Here are before-and-after images of two additional hard-hit areas:
Rikuzentakata: Before and After
Sendai Coast: Before and After

MapQuest recently launched, crowd-sourced map service in Japan through a country-dedicated site, open.mapquest.jp.  Read more here on how image provided to OpenStreetMap by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency is available to the mapping community to help accurately portray damage caused by the tsunami and recovery efforts that are currently underway.

AOL News and Huffington Post both have up-to-date information on relief efforts, as well as ways to support the recovery process.  Our hearts go out to the millions of people affected by this tragedy.