It was twelve years ago to the day. On March 11, 2011, at 2:46 p.m. local time (06:46 a.m. Paris time), an earthquake measuring 9.1 on the Richter scale, one of the strongest ever recorded on the planet, occurred at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, about 130 km from the city of Sendai, on the northeast coast of the Japanese archipelago. For long and terrifying minutes, the convulsions of the earth cause houses to crumble and roads to crack. The power of the tremor is such that Honshu, the main Japanese island, moves 2.4 meters to the east.
Felt as far away as Beijing, the earthquake also shook Tokyo, where skyscrapers swayed, fires broke out and public transport was paralyzed. But the drama has only just begun. Less than an hour later, a gigantic wave exceeding twenty meters in height in places broke on the Japanese coast, carrying all life in its path. The rolls of the ocean smash concrete buildings and carry boats, vehicles and sometimes flaming debris for several kilometers inland.