The Washington Post

March 11: The day the quake and tsunami hit Japan, in tweets

Earthquake-triggered tsumanis sweep shores along northern Japan on Friday March 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Post reporters Andrew Higgins, Brigid Schulte, and Joel Achenbach take readers to the coastal city of Ishinomaki, one of the cities hardest hit by the quake and tsunami, to tell us stories of those who survived or were lost that day, including the story of American teacher Taylor Anderson who tried to ride her bike home and was swept away by a giant wave.

Post reporter Michael Chandler tells the story of the way the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power changed forever the lives of residents of Ishinomaki, as the disaster chased them off their land.

American teacher Jessica Besecker, a friend of Taylor Anderson, tells her own story of survival in the city of Kesennuma.

On March 11, four million homes lost power and most phones didn’t work, but Twitter didn’t fail. Many tweeted to tell family members they were okay, or what the quake felt like, or what the tsunami looked like, or photos of where they were. Government officials tweeted that help was on the way. Here is what people in Japan said on that day:

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