2012 Photo Contest, People in the News, Stories, 1st prize

Tsunami

Photographer

Yasuyoshi Chiba

Agence France-Presse

10 April, 2011

Illuminated by car headlights, tsunami survivor Tadao Kamei (left) and a friend write ‘Ganbaro!’ (‘Hang in there!’) on a billboard in Ishinomaki.

About the photographer

Yasuyoshi Chiba

Yasuyoshi Chiba is Agence France-Presse’s (AFP) Chief Photographer for East Africa and Indian Ocean, currently based in Nairobi, Kenya.    After studying phot...

Background story

Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, Japan

Illuminated by car headlights, tsunami survivor Tadao Kamei (left) and a friend write ‘Ganbaro!’ (‘Hang in there!’) on a billboard in Ishinomaki. On 11 March, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck 70 kilometers off the Tohoku coast, in northeastern Japan. The quake triggered a tsunami that swept inland over an area of some 500 square kilometers, destroying buildings, crippling infrastructure, and resulting in the displacement of more than 340,000 people. The earthquake was the most powerful ever to hit Japan, and one of the most forceful documented in the world. Flooding and damage to transport connections, power stations, and other vital facilities severely hindered recovery operations.

This image is collected in