More than a week has passed since a massive 7.6 magnitude earthquake turned New Year's Day into disaster in Ishikawa Prefecture, where at least 202 have died and about 100 remain missing.

Over the three-day weekend, a team from The Japan Times reported from the hard-hit Noto Peninsula — including the city of Wajima, where buildings were flattened and a major fire destroyed the central morning market. In Wajima and beyond, homes were toppled, family members were taken and livelihoods were erased.

Our team had all seen media reports in the quake’s aftermath, but the reality on the ground was worse than we could have imagined. City blocks were flattened, many roadways remained impassable and some evacuees faced life in shelters with no running water — and no prospects for a return home.