Rebuilding a Nation

It was 2.45pm on March 11, 2011; everything was normal for Japan’s 127 million residences. It was one of the first days of spring and the air was still crisp, and there was no real hint of the chilling events about to strike the nation. The 9.0 magnitude quake hit at 2.46pm JST, and it was thanks to Japan’s state-of-the-art Earthquake Early Detection System that gave coastal residents, high-speed transport, major epicentres and factories a 60-second warning before the destruction began. The shake lasted for a terrifying six minutes, and was the largest quake to ever hit Japan; it was the fourth-largest ever recorded in the world. The shaking eventually subsided, and less than 60 minutes after the initial quake, the first of many tsunami waves began to engulf coastal towns of Japan. The tsunami waves reached towering heights of up to 39 metres at Miyako City and travelled inland as…