WORLDPOST

See The Fukushima Disaster Zone Then And Now In 10 Striking GIFs

Images show the road to recovery five years after the devastating tsunami.

09/03/2016 7:25 AM AEDT | Updated 09/03/2016 7:30 AM AEDT
NEW! HIGHLIGHT AND SHARE
Highlight text to share via Facebook and Twitter
Kyodo/Reuters
Natori city in Miyagi prefecture on March 11, 2011 and February 15, 2016.

On March 11, 2011 a massive 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered a tsunami that leveled entire cities and villages and left 15,891 people dead and more than 2,500 missing.

The tsunami left 435 miles of Japanese coastline in ruin. Homes and buildings were leveled. Schools were destroyed. The massive wave had brought ships ashore. 

Tsunami flooding caused the cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima prefecture to malfunction, triggering a nuclear meltdown. 

Five years on, the recovery in the disaster zone has been slow but steady. Yet the cleanup around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant continues, a monumental task Japanese authorities have failed to tackle head on. 

See the stunning images from 2011 and 2016 below:

Kyodo/Reuters
Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture on March 12, 2011 and February 16, 2016.
Kyodo/Reuters
Natori city in Miyagi prefecture on March 11, 2011 and February 18, 2016.
Kyodo/Reuters
Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture on March 17, 2011 and January 17, 2016.
Kyodo/Reuters
Yamada town in Iwate prefecture on March 17, 2011 and February 3, 2016.
Kyodo/Reuters
Higashimatsushima city in Miyagi prefecture on March 12, 2011 and March 3, 2016.
Kyodo/Reuters
Rikuzentakata city in Iwate prefecture on April 5, 2011 and February 16, 2016.
Kyodo/Reuters
The tsunami-devastated Shinchi town in Fukushima prefecture on March 12, 2011 and March 2, 2016.
Kyodo/Reuters
Iwaki city in Fukushima prefecture on April 27, 2011 and February 14, 2016.
Kyodo/Reuters
Onagawa city in Miyagi prefecture on March 22, 2011 and March 4, 2016.
Also on HuffPost
Inside Abandoned Fukushima Exclusion Zone