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Japan Earthquake, 2 Years Later: Before and After

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In a few days, Japan will mark the 2nd anniversary of the devastating Tohoku earthquake and resulting tsunami. The disaster killed nearly 19,000 across Japan, leveling entire coastal villages. Now, nearly all the rubble has been removed, or stacked neatly, but reconstruction on higher ground is lagging, as government red tape has slowed recovery efforts. Locals living in temporary housing are frustrated, and still haunted by the horrific event, some displaying signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. Collected below are a series of before-and-after interactive images. Click on each one to see the image fade from before (2011) to after (2013). [18 photo pairs]

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The tsunami-devastated Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture, is pictured in this side-by-side comparison photo taken March 12, 2011 (left) and March 4, 2013 (right), ahead of the two-year anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that damaged so much of northeastern Japan. (Reuters/Kyodo)
The tsunami-devastated Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture, is pictured in this side-by-side comparison photo taken March 12, 2011 (left) and March 4, 2013 (right), ahead of the two-year anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that damaged so much of northeastern Japan. (Reuters/Kyodo)
This before-after pair of images shows a private plane, cars and debris outside Sendai Airport in Natori, Miyagi prefecture on March 13, 2011, and the same area two years later, on February 21, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Mike Clarke, Toru Yamanaka, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
A catamaran sightseeing boat washed by the tsunami onto a two-story tourist home in Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture on April 16, 2011, and (click to fade) the same area on February 18, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Toru Yamanaka, Yasuyoshi Chiba, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
Residents crossing a bridge covered with debris in a tsunami-hit area of the city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture on March 15, 2011, and (click to fade) the same area nearly two years later on February 22, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Kim Jae-Hwan, Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images) #
Residents look at a tsunami-damaged area of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, on March 12, 2011, and (click to fade) the same area on February 17, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Toru Yamanaka, Kazuhiro Nogi, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
Rusted vehicles and tsunami debris in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, on March 19, 2011, and (click to fade) March 1, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Reuters/Kyodo) #
Tsunami debris covers a large area of Natori, near Sendai in Miyagi prefecture on March 13, 2011, and (click to fade) the same field on February 21, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Mike Clarke, Toru Yamanaka, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
A tsunami-hit area of Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture on March 29, 2011, and (click to fade) the same area on February 19, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Toru Yamanaka, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
The tsunami-devastated Minamisanriku, Miyagi prefecture, seen on March 13, 2011, and (click to fade) March 2, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Reuters/Kyodo) #
Residents walk past damaged cars on a street in a tsunami-damaged area of Tagajo, Miyagi prefecture on March 13, 2011, and (click to fade) the same street on February 21, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Kim Jae-Hwan, Toru Yamanaka, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
A tsunami-hit street in Ofunato, Iwate prefecture on March 14, 2011, and (click to fade) the same scene as it appeared on February 19, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Toru Yamanaka, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
A rescue worker walks through rubble in the tsunami hit area of Minamisanriku, Miyagi prefecture on March 18, 2011, and (click to fade) the same area on February 20, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Mike Clarke, Toru Yamanaka, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
A cherry blossom tree stands among tsunami debris in the city of Kamaishi, Iwate prefecture on April 20, 2011, and (click to fade) the same scene on February 18, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Toru Yamanaka, Yasuyoshi Chiba, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
A catamaran sightseeing boat washed by the tsunami onto a two-story home in Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture on April 16, 2011, and (click to fade) the same structure on February 18, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Toru Yamanaka, Yasuyoshi Chiba, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
On March 12, 2011, people evacuate down a road flooded by the tsunami in the city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture, click to fade the image and show the same road on February 22, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Jiji Press, Toru Yamanaka, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
A 10-meter tall pine tree stands in Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture on March 29, 2011, shortly after the tsunami. Click to see the same scene nearly two years later, on February 19, 2013. It was the only tree to have survived the tsunami among some 70,000 trees located by the seashore to protect from salt, sand and wind damage, but later died. The crane (2nd image) is working on a memorial to the tree. [click image to view transition] (Toru Yamanaka, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
Tsunami-hit Ofunato, in Iwate prefecture on March 14, 2011, and (click to fade) the same scene as it appeared on February 18, 2013. [click image to view transition] (Toru Yamanaka, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
An image of the tsunami breaching an embankment and flowing into the city of Miyako, Iwate prefecture, taken by a Miyako City official on March 11, 2011, and (click to fade) the same scene on February 18, 2013, nearly two years later. [click image to view transition] (Jiji Press, Toru Yamanaka, Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #

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