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Visualizing Japan’s Power Outages After Earthquake, Tsunami

Power losses on March 12 indicated in red. Image courtesy NOAA National Geophysical Data Center.

The massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 decimated villages along the northeastern coast and knocked out power to a vast swath of the country.

To determine how severe the power outage was, the U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program compared a March 12 image to one from 2010. NASA released this image Monday, showing the areas where power was knocked out in red, while the yellow indicates areas where power remained. Bright green spots indicate lights that were newly detected this month.

About 601,000 people remain without electricity as of Monday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported. Power has been restored to 234,000 people in the last few days.

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