At 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake unleashed a 10-meter-high tsunami on northeastern Japan. That double disaster swept away entire towns and villages, killing nearly 16,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.
In the three years since, Japan has struggled to rebuild the worst hit towns and to clean up radiation from the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But for those who survived the horror or lost loved ones in the massive wave, the struggle is beyond bricks and mortar. This heartbreaking photo says it all. --Lauren Hansen