On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake shook northeastern Japan, triggering a massive tsunami whose effects were felt as far away as the U.S. West Coast. The temblor damaged several Japanese nuclear reactors, some of which have already partially melted. Take a look at the science behind this disaster.
Record snowfalls in Japan outline the multiuse landscape of the country's second-largest island, Hokkaido. The cultivated greenbelts that helped protect against the 2011 tsunami are visible along the coast.
Debris from the deadly tsunami that struck Japan almost three years ago is drifting across the Pacific Ocean toward North America, and will likely continue to wash onto North American shores over the next few years, according to NOAA.