On March 11, 2011, an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale struck near the eastern coast of Japan. It was the fourth-largest earthquake ever recorded globally and created an enormous tsunami that caused massive destruction along 190 kilometers of the coastline. Around 15,000 people have been confirmed dead and 9,000 are still missing.
Despite the ability of the Japanese government to deal with earthquakes and tsunamis, this disaster has deeply affected the country and has destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Five months after the disaster, over 8,000 people are still living in evacuation centers, typically in public buildings such as schools, community centers and temples.
Key transport infrastructure has been restored, but over 47,000 households remain without running water. There are fears for electricity shortages as the Fukushima nuclear accident stopped energy production, yet power consumption usually soars during the hot summer months.
Duration: March 11, 2011 to present
Human Impact: More than 15,000 dead, 5000 injured, over 91,000 people affected
Damages: 106,858 buildings were completely destroyed; 373,996 partially destroyed, an area of 451 km² was flooded by the tsunami.
CARE Response: distribution of nearly 37,000 hot meals; 8,000 people in evacuation centers received essential relief items such as plates and bowls, sanitary items, towels and sheets; 1,300 people were supported in re-establishing community connections, overcoming trauma.