[Photos] Tohoku three years after the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami

Subaru Niizuma, 6, accompanied by his sister Shizuku, 8, and father Atsushi, 40, throws a pink flower into the ocean in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sunday in honor of his grandmother, who died in the March 11 tsunami and was fond of pink flowers.
Subaru Niizuma, 6, accompanied by his sister Shizuku, 8, and father Atsushi, 40, throws a pink flower into the ocean in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sunday in honor of his grandmother, who died in the March 11 tsunami and was fond of pink flowers. | KYODO

Foundations of houses that were washed away by the massive tsunami on March 11, 2011, lie abandoned in Wakabayashi Ward, Sendai, on Feb. 23. The disaster destroyed some 720 houses in the area, and the city plans to preserve some of the remains to keep the tragic memory alive.
Foundations of houses that were washed away by the massive tsunami on March 11, 2011, lie abandoned in Wakabayashi Ward, Sendai, on Feb. 23. The disaster destroyed some 720 houses in the area, and the city plans to preserve some of the remains to keep the tragic memory alive. | KYODO

The devastated disaster preparedness center is one of the few structures left standing in Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, on Feb. 14.
The devastated disaster preparedness center is one of the few structures left standing in Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, on Feb. 14. | KYODO

Charred desks and chairs still stand Jan. 22 in a classroom in Kadowaki Elementary School, which was gutted by fire after the March 11 tsunami, in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture.
Charred desks and chairs still stand Jan. 22 in a classroom in Kadowaki Elementary School, which was gutted by fire after the March 11 tsunami, in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. | KYODO

The ravaged shore of Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, is littered with debris and a large ship on April 10, 2011. Right: The same area, seen last month, has been cleaned up and is ready for reconstruction. Work on a new fish market is expected to begin later this year.
The ravaged shore of Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, is littered with debris and a large ship on April 10, 2011. Right: The same area, seen last month, has been cleaned up and is ready for reconstruction. Work on a new fish market is expected to begin later this year. | KYODO

A doctor conducts a thyroid examination on 5-year-old girl as her older brother and a nurse take care of her at a clinic in temporary housing complex in Nihonmatsu, west of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, on Feb. 27. 
A doctor conducts a thyroid examination on 5-year-old girl as her older brother and a nurse take care of her at a clinic in temporary housing complex in Nihonmatsu, west of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, on Feb. 27. | AFP-JIJI

A rusting samurai warrior’s helmet rests on broken concrete in in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, an area devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
A rusting samurai warrior’s helmet rests on broken concrete in in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, an area devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. | AP

Elderly women making sandals from used T-shirts in a small room of a temporary housing complex in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, on March 3, 2014.
Elderly women making sandals from used T-shirts in a small room of a temporary housing complex in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, on March 3, 2014. | AFP-JIJI

Kazutaka Sato, the father of an elementary school student who perished in the March 11 tsunami in the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, prays at a memorial in front of the school Monday before submitting a lawsuit with other parents demanding compensation from the city and prefectural governments.
Kazutaka Sato, the father of an elementary school student who perished in the March 11 tsunami in the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, prays at a memorial in front of the school Monday before submitting a lawsuit with other parents demanding compensation from the city and prefectural governments. | KYODO

A mother and her daughter attend a candle-lighting event held Sunday to commemorate the third anniversary of the March 11 tsunami and earthquake in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, one of the worst-hit areas.
A mother and her daughter attend a candle-lighting event held Sunday to commemorate the third anniversary of the March 11 tsunami and earthquake in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, one of the worst-hit areas. | KYODO