It’s been 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Here’s a look back at a decade of recovery

In this combination photo, from top left to bottom right, vehicles pass through the ruins of the leveled city of Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, on March 15, 2011, top, four days after the tsunami, and vehicles pass through the same area under construction on Feb. 23, 2012, on March 7, 2016 and Saturday, March 6, 2021. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder and Eugene Hoshiko) Credit: David Guttenfelder and Eugene Hoshiko, Associated Press
FILE - In this March 11, 2011, file photo, earthquake-triggered tsunami sweeps shores along Iwanuma, Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan. March 11, 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of a massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that struck Japan's northeastern coast. (Kyodo News via AP, File) Credit: Kyodo News via Associated Press
Elder John McCune, second counselor in the the Asia North Area presidency, with members of the Church Welfare Service Department, are in front of the newly rebuilt Miyako City Hall during a visit to Japan in February 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Ten years ago, on March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the northeastern coast of Japan triggered a tsunami that hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, destroying systems and triggering meltdowns. More than 22,000 people and people were reported missing after the Great East Japan Earthquake, according to the Japan Newsroom’s series of articles on the anniversary.  

In the days following the earthquake, area Church leaders worked to track down and ensure the safety of missionaries and members and worked to provide both emergency and long-term assistance, the Church News reported at the time. One of the ways members helped was collecting and donating appropriate clothes for people attending funerals and mourning loved ones, the Japan Newsroom articles noted.

In the Tohoku region, humanitarian assistance to local businesses included supporting the forestry and fishing industries. From March 11, 2011, to February 2012, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spent 185,324 hours with a total of more than 24,800 Helping Hands volunteers providing emergency and reconstruction assistance, the Japan Newsroom reported.

For more on the anniversary, see the series of articles on the Japan Newsroom, including part 1 and part 2.  

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