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Before and After: Tsunami Damage in Japan
Credit: NASA

The Japanese city of Ishinomaki was one of the hardest hit when a powerful tsunami swept ashore on March 11.

When the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite acquired the above image three days later, on March 14, water still inundated the city.

The image below, taken on Aug. 8, 2008, shows what the city looked like before the massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered the devastating tsunami.

In these false-color images, water is dark blue, plant-covered land is red, exposed earth is tan and the city is silver.

Standing water is most evident in the flat, open places that were once fields. The most extensive flooding is around the Matsushima Air Base in the lower left corner of the image.

Dark blue fills in the spaces between buildings in sections of Ishinomaki near the harbor in the center of the image and by the river in the upper right. These areas are probably flooded.

Survivors in parts of Ishinomaki were being rescued in boats, reported CNN.