On March 11 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Pacific coast of Japan, setting off a tsunami that swept inland, wiping out villages and towns, killing up to 18,000 people, displacing hundreds of thousands more and disabling the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. It was the world’s fifth-strongest earthquake this century, and the most powerful ever on record in Japan. Known as 3.11, this catastrophe left the northeastern region of Tohoku devastated, but it also inspired a worldwide relief effort and a new spirit of volunteerism both in Japan and beyond.
With new articles published every three months or so since autumn 2013, our Tohoku Update series documents the region's recovery efforts, the contributions of a diverse cast of volunteers, and some of the countless new initiatives and projects set up by the people of Tohoku in the years after 3.11. Check out the full list below, and keep checking back for updates every now and then.