A look inside Japan’s massive earthquake

Japan has been expecting a massive earthquake for decades and expecting, too, to discover in the aftermath whether the years of corrupt public works spending had led to an erosion of building standards.  The 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit off the northwest coast of Japan yesterday is the worst ever recorded in that country but it is too early to tell whether the damage and loss of life will rival the Kobe earthquake of 1995.  What is clear already is that the experience — of both the quake itself and the tsunamis that followed — was terrifying, though the large-scale video footage of water flows carrying along cars and houses does not capture the scale of the tremor the way that this video shot in a supermarket does. Click here for my photos of Japan and here for photos of the Tamil Nadu coast that was hit by the 2004 tsunami.

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