In this Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 photo, a fishing boat washed ashore during the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami sits in the devastated area in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture. Japan's progress in rebuilding from the tsunami that thundered over coastal sea walls, sweeping entire communities away, is mainly measured in barren foundations and empty spaces. Clearing of forests on higher ground due to be leveled to make space for relocating survivors has barely begun. Japan will next week observes two years from the March 11, 2011 disasters which devastated in the northeastern Pacific coast of the country. (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa)
Tuesday, March 05, 2013 9:48 pm
Images of Japan's barren tsunami coast 2 years on
The Associated Press
Next week, Japan will observe the second anniversary of the March 11, 2011, disaster that killed more than 19,000 people.
In dozens of towns along the country's northeastern Pacific coast, from tiny Ryoishi in the north to Fukushima farther south, where some areas remain off-limits due to radiation fears, the tsunami zone remains a wasteland. Scattered along the coast are huge piles of rubble and stacks of smashed scooters and cars.
The government has promised faster action on resettling the tens of thousands of people left homeless by the disaster, but the local economies were already in decline, doubling the challenge for reconstruction. Clearing of forests on higher ground due to be leveled to make space for relocating survivors has barely begun.
Here is a gallery of images from the tsunami zone.