At shelters throughout the hard-hit coastal town of Ishinomaki, survivors of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami sleep on blankets surrounded by cardboard boxes. Despite the lack of privacy and cramped, sparse conditions, evacuees say moving away is not an option.
Public criticism is rare in Japan, but many reacted strongly to the government's handling of the nuclear crisis by assembling in protests throughout the country.
A team of L.A. County firefighters and trained dogs from the California-based National Disaster Search Dog Foundation spent a week searching for survivors in northeastern Japan.
“There was almost no talking,” Shatarsky said. “The very first thing I saw was a car flipped upside down into a tree. I just couldn’t wrap my head around a wave doing what it did to this island.”
As the residents of northeast Japan slowly start to piece their lives back together, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake off Japan’s coast quickly sent the nation back into a state of shock.