Toll of the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011 on the Pacific coast of Tohoku Japan

Date: 11 March, 2011
Magnitude: 9
Victims: 15 146
Missing: 9 034
Refugees: 109 688


Homes (as of 23 May):
⇒ Completely destroyed: 91 484
⇒ Heavily damaged: 40 454
⇒ Damaged: 265 149

The damage is estimated at US$100 billion.
Reported job losses 106 461 (as of 13 May) ⇒ 2.4 times the previous year

Companies no longer in operation 66 ⇒ (3 times the number caused by the Kôbe earthquake) 90% due to collateral damage
Not including companies that have yet to declared their status.

Constant anxiety :
* Still threat of THE BIG ONE
* Aftershocks of magnitude 5+:
⇒ 262 between 11 and 18 March
⇒ 456 up to 23 May

Refugees (housed in public shelters or with family and friends)

182 341 (14 April) 176 342 (21 April) 166 671 (5 May) 171 508 (18 Mai)

Many people have returned to their homes even when the homes are seriously damaged.

⇒ For practical reasons (lack of space, medical care, privacy, inadequate facilities for the elderly or the presence of pets ...)
⇒ For fear of disturbing others (strangers or relatives) by the presence of children


Water / Gas / Electricity :

Loss of water Loss of electricity Loss of gas
14 April 302 476 160 000 75 613
21 April 92 330 150 000 4 188
5 May 74 700 11 000 0
18 May 66 100 6 000 0

Railway lines not running :

14 April 21 April 5 May 18 May
Due to the earthquake 37 28 19 18
Due to loss of electricity 69 67 63 71

Gasoline/Petrol :
After an initial extreme shortage, there has been a slow but gradual improvement since late March.

Mail :
No distribution, but able to retrieve at central post offices

Current sources of supplies:
⇒ Delivery to the shelter on registration
⇒ Distribution in the streets by municipalities
⇒ Gradual reopening of supermarkets


Provisionary Housing
To relocate all refugees, must build:
- 14 000 homes in the Iwate prefecture
- 23 000 homes in the Miyagi prefecture
- 15 200 homes in the Fukushima prefecture

Currently (as of 23 May)
- 14 196 emergency shelters were built
- 19 292 emergency shelters are in construction
- 1 606 emergency shelters are planned

Number of volunteers who came and helped at the scene, up through the 58th day

Kôbe earthquake, 1995 Tohoku earthquake, 2011
1 007 900 258 800*
An average of 17 378 people per day td> An average of 4 462 people per day

* Not including volunteers that are not registered with agencies

Reasons for the difference in volunteer presence on site:
- Much larger area and greater damage
- Area much more difficult to access
- Risk of radiation

Quentin's account of his experiences

On his way back from Japan to Paris to finish his studies Quentin stopped off in Montpellier to share his impressions of his second trip to Sendai since the earthquake.

He returned to the university and his studies with his Japanese colleagues. They gave the impression that they had got over the shock of the events, but he thinks that in reality many of them would never say if any of their families had suffered, probably through their characteristic reserve. The presence of foreign students was variable. Some had returned (the Chinese and some of the French...), but others had not (the Germans, Americans...), either through their own fear for their personal safety or because their universities had forbidden it.

During his free time, Quentin helped as a volunteer worker in the devastated areas, clearing the rubble of the destroyed buildings. After being provided with basic protection (gloves, hard hat and a mask) at one of the centers spread all along the coast, the volunteers were divided into groups and taken to the work zone with the necessary equipment. Most of the time the work took place in people’s homes, scraping out the 4-inch-thick layer of mud left by the tsunami. Some of the home owners also asked the volunteers to help them recover any belongings that were not too badly damaged, often objects with great personal value such as photographs.

It’s very hard manual work. No machines, just shovels and a few wheelbarrows to collect and remove, inch by inch, the vast quantity of debris left by the tidal wave. It takes about a day to clear just one house and there are tens of thousands of them. Whatever the day of the week and whatever the weather, the volunteer workers are there. Some of them have taken what they call “volunteer leave” without pay, to come and spend a few months helping, while others come in from all over Japan for the weekend.

His final impression on leaving was that of an immense task, to which the Japanese people will harness themselves for as long as it will take. He didn’t see any signs of the presence of any NGOs at the sites he worked on. Most of the equipment was provided by Sendai town authorities, along with tools recovered from destroyed houses.


福島第一原子力発電所事故および被災地の状況について / Information about the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant and those affected by the catastrophe.

日々状況は変化している状態です。以下、いくつかのサイトをご紹介いたします。/ As the situation is in constant evolution it is impossible for us to update our pages on a daily basis, so we have prepared a list of links to sites with the latest information.

フランス語、英語 en français, in English

Reconstruction Headquarters in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

MEXT (Ministry of educqtion, culture, sports, science and technology)
Monitoring information of environmental radioactivity level





Réseau Sortir du nucléaire

日本語 en japonais


文部科学省 放射線モニタリング情報

NHK 福島第一原発事故関連ニュース

共同 東日本大震災最新ニュース

NHK 東北ふるさとニュース(盛岡、仙台、福島放送)動画付き



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