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RIKUZENTAKATA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 4: A lone pine tree estimated to be 260 years old which survived the tsunami stands on December 4, 2011, in Rikuzentakata, Japan. The area had an estimated 70,000 trees and they all perished when the Tsunami moved in. The small city was almost wiped off the map during the Tsunami as the tsunami shelters were designed to for a wave of three to four meters height, but the tsunami created a 13 meters high wave and most of the town was flattened. Northeastern Japan's coastline was struck by an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale and a Tsunami on March 11, 2011 which destroyed villages and livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of people. Almost 16,000 dead, thousands missing, more than 700,000 properties destroyed and an estimated 387,000 survivors lost their homes. Its estimated that it will take more than five years to rebuild. The cost is estimated to 309 billion U.S. dollars, the world's most expensive natural disaster. Many children suffered especially with school destroyed, education interrupted and the loss of family members took a heavy toll. (Photo by Per-Anders Pettersson)
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