On 11 Mar 2011, a massive tsunami was triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in northeast Japan, causing widespread destruction. The tsunami was up to 30 meters high and inundated 433,000 square kilometers of land. 492,000 people were evacuated, 11,600 were killed and 16,450 were reported missing. 17,000 homes and buildings were destroyed and 138,000 damaged. (OCHA, 1 Apr 2011)
The earthquake triggered an extremely severe nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that ultimately emitted an enormous amount of radioactive material into the environment (Government of Japan, 5 Jul 2012).