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New, haunting video depicts widespread destruction left by 2011 Japan tsunami

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    Digital writers

    Thursday, August 15, 2013, 3:57 PM -

    On March 11, 2011 Japan was rocked by one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded. A new, enhanced video shot that day shows a terrifying path of destruction created by intense flooding.

    Here's a breakdown of what happens during the 25-minute video:

    • 2:30: Sirens sound, and curious onlookers peer over a canal. 
    • 3:30: Waves start picking up and boats begin crashing into one another. 
    • 4:47: Water levels are rising significantly. Throughout the film, an officer can be seen trying to usher people to safety.
    • 5:30: Alarms sound again, and people start running for higher ground. Our cameraman takes up residence at a higher elevation, over what appears to be a park.
    • 8:27: Water breaches the canal.
    • 9:46: Significant debris has accumulated. A house can be seen floating down the canal.
    • 11:00: Debris makes its way on shore.
    • 15:00: The park in front of the cameraman is completely washed away.
    • 21:00: A massive fire can be seen burning in the debris.
    • 25:00: The short film ends at night, with fires burning over a murky sea of floodwater.

    Across Japan's north coast, nearly 19,000 people were left dead or missing. Officials say the exact number of those who perished will never be known.

    The deadly earthquake and tsunami also caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, forcing thousands of people to abandon their homes to escape radiation.

    Two years later, more than 300,000 people remained displaced by the triple disasters, about half of them evacuees from areas near the nuclear plant. 

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