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Ishinomaki bay, Japan, April 2011. The face of the ocean is calm, as if today was no different than yesterday. Behind, the city of Ishinomaki is recovering from the impact of the tsunami waves that passed here, heading directly towards the city center.
Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2011. A long stretch of flat land, just on the coastline is left with a few houses standing and completely covered in rubble.
Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2011. A Statue of Liberty copy stretches her torch towards a dark sky, she remains as one of the few standing structures on this island in the river that cuts through the center of Ishinomaki.
Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2011. In a corner of an evacuation center, in a pile of orphaned photos and notes found in the mud and debris, a newlywed couple stares into a future turned upside down. Their frame and glass are still covered in dry mud from a disaster hitting like lightning from a clear sky.
Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2011. In an increasing stench of decay, police forces from all over Japan are searching the rubble for bodies.
Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2011. A man biking through the rubble. Many still return to their homes and neighborhoods, searching for belongings and memories of loved ones lost in the water.
A cemetery in Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2011. Cars have been stopped at the foot of a mountain, leaving them spread among the graves when the water receded.
April 2011, Ishinomaki, Japan. As the cleaning and rebuilding advances, new challenges arise, as tons of trash is stored in temporary landfills outside town.
Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2011. The twins Hiroki and Miho, 10 years old, are strong survivors and eyewitnesses to a disaster that isolated them in their school for several days, uncertain of the fate of their parents and family.
Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2011. Miho is overlooking her neighborhood and the remains of the houses. A few weeks earlier, these were the streets and gardens where she would be playing with her friends.
Oshiaka peninsula, Japan, April 2011. A village is completely wiped out as the tsunami wave was forced into the narrow bay, making the wave higher. This is one of many villages like it along the coast of the peninsula.
Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2011. A volunteer has found wedding photos in the mud. He carefully brushes them off and puts them aside. Some of the findings from the streets are taken to the evacuation centers in the hope of reuniting survivors with memories of loved ones.
Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2011. With more than 20,000 people dead or missing, not all classrooms are full. Many students are faced with empty seats and friends that are no longer there.
Ishinomaki, Japan, April 2011. A classroom converted into temporary housing for several families, with no privacy or timeframe for when they will have a home again.
Ishinomaki, Japan, April 21, 2011. The first day of school for many children after the disaster. Many schools are still used as evacuation centers. Today the children are running up and down stairs, getting books, tables and tools back into the classrooms, transforming this building from an evacuation center back into a school again.
Haiti earthquake 2010
Separated by death, but still as if reaching for each other, bodies lie on the concrete floor of the hospital morgue in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on March 25, 2010. Two months after the quake the morgue remains overloaded due to conflicts and the general public health situation.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 24, 2010. The January 12. earthquake killed an estimated 200,000 people and destroyed thousands of houses. An estimated 2,000,000 people are left homeless, in a country already struck by immense poverty.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 2010. A young woman arguing with guards at the hospital gates to be allowed inside before nightfall.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 2010. A boy is salvaging wood from a destroyed factory. In spite of the situation there is an immense will to move on and rebuild.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 2010. With an injured foot and no clean water, a man is doing the family laundry, while his girlfriend is watching from their tent in a smaller camp next to the Presidential palace.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 2010. In a cloud of dust a wall collapses in a back-alley in Port-au-Prince as the rebuilding process slowly begins. The work is extremely dangerous and casualties are high due to the unstable remaining buildings and complete lack of safety equipment.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 2010. A father watches over his 2 days older daughter while she’s receiving treatment in the maternity tent in the general hospital. Much of the hospital was damaged and the remains are unsafe. Most people are treated in tents outside while struggling with intense heat and no air-condition.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 2010. Joonia, an orphaned girl wakes up and looks through a shattered piece of glass in the street. In the quake she lost her parents, her home and all stability in her life.
Fabiola, Joonia's aunt is caring for Joonia at the moment, she herself lost everything in the quake and in a small impoverished community, extended family provides a roof over their heads. Everyday they are dealing with basic survival, while trying to cope with a life turned upside down.
Joonia represents tens of thousands of children that were living normal lives with family, friends and school before the quake. Many now live in makeshift camps in the streets or in bigger camps run by aid organisations. Some are cared for by surviving relatives, while others are left to an extremely difficult and dangerous future on the streets.