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Millions of people from Maine to the Carolinas awoke Tuesday without power, and an eerily quiet New York City was all but closed off by car, train and air as superstorm Hurricane Sandy steamed inland, still delivering punishing wind and rain. The full extent of the damage in New Jersey, where the storm roared ashore [...]

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Powerful storms leveled two small towns in southern Indiana, transforming entire blocks of homes into piles of debris, tossing school buses into a home and a restaurant and causing destruction so severe it was difficult to tell what was once there. As night fell, dazed residents shuffled through town, some looking for relatives, while rescue [...]

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A man rides a horse through a bonfire in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, in honor of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals. On the eve of Saint Anthony’s Day, hundreds ride their horses trough the narrow cobblestone streets of the small village of San Bartolome during the “Luminarias,” a [...]

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DigitalGlobe

A satellite image shows the wreck of the Costa Concordia off the island of Giglio, Italy, on Jan. 17, 2012. The luxury cruise ship ran aground on Jan. 13.

The Costa Concordia had more than 4,200 passengers and crew on board when it slammed into a reef Friday off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio. At least 23 remained unaccounted for Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The captain in charge of the specialist divers searching the stricken vessel told NBC News that they need to blow four more holes in it to gain access to the bottom of the cruise ship. 

Read more about the rescue and recovery operation and see more images of the disaster on PhotoBlog or in the slideshow below.

For more fresh perspectives on the world, take a look back at the Cosmic Log Space Advent Calendar.

Slideshow: Luxury cruise ship runs aground

Andreas Solaro / AFP - Getty Images

Launch slideshow

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Now that the final space shuttle has landed, many thousands involved with it have lost their jobs, and budget cuts loom, I thought it would be interesting to have a look at the other projects NASA has been working on recently, and what will be keeping the agency busy in the coming years. There has been a flurry of discoveries and firsts just this year alone, as scientists have discovered a fourth moon around Pluto, and a spacecraft has entered orbit around the asteroid Vesta for the first time. Earlier this month the spacecraft Juno launched toward Jupiter, while workers prepared the next Mars rover, Curiosity, for launch by the end of this year. All of this on top of supporting existing missions to the sun, Mercury, Earth, Mars, Saturn and more. Collected here is just a small recent sampling of NASA's far-reaching projects and missions. [33 photos]

Rising from fire and smoke, NASA's Juno planetary probe, enclosed in its payload fairing, launches atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Leaving from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, on August 5, 2011, the spacecraft will embark on a five-year journey to Jupiter. The solar-powered spacecraft will orbit Jupiter's poles 33 times to find out more about the gas giant's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere and investigate the existence of a solid planetary core. (NASA/Scott Andrews)

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Extreme weather events have always been with us, and always will be. One can't point to a single severe storm, or even an entire harsh winter, as evidence of climate change. But a trend of weather intensity, and oddity, grows. Droughts linger longer. Hurricanes hit harder. Snowstorms strike long after winter should have ended. World record hailstones fall. China endures a crippling drought, and then punishing floods. Millions are displaced in a flood of historic proportion in Pakistan. The U.S. sees the Mississippi River reach historic flood crests, and then sees the largest wildfire in Arizona history. None of these events on their own mean anything. Collectively, do they mean we're seeing the earth's climate change before our eyes? -- Lane Turner (47 photos total)
A huge swath of the United States is affected by a winter storm that brought layers of dangerous ice and blowing snow, closing roads and airports from Texas to Rhode Island in this February 1 satellite image. The storm's more than 2,000-mile reach threatened to leave about a third of the nation covered in harsh weather. Ice fell first and was expected to be followed by up to two feet of snow in some places. (NOAA/AP)

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The Mississippi River and tributaries continue to rise, reaching record crests, and the worst may still be to come. Portions of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas are under water, with more to come. Pressure on levees led the Army Corps of Engineers to blow up a section below Cairo, Ill, inundating 130,000 acres of farmland while saving the town. As a bulge of river water makes its way downstream, levees are stressed and rivers that empty into the Mississippi have no outlet, backing up and flooding even more land. The bulge will reach the Delta later this month, and millions of acres are threatened. -- Lane Turner (33 photos total)
Floodwaters from the Mississippi River on May 3 swamp the area north of New Madrid, Mo. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

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Sirens wailed Friday along a devastated coastline to mark exactly one week since an earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear emergency, and the government acknowledged it was slow to respond to the disasters that the prime minister called a “great test for the Japanese people.” Last week’s 9.0 quake and tsunami has left more than [...]

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There are just too many bodies. Hundreds of dead have washed ashore on Japan’s devastated northeast coast since last week’s earthquake and tsunami. Others were dug out of the debris Monday by firefighters using pickaxes and chain saws.

Funeral homes and crematoriums are overwhelmed, and officials have run out of body bags and coffins.

Compounding the disaster, water levels dropped precipitously inside a Japanese nuclear reactor, twice leaving the uranium fuel rods completely exposed and raising the threat of a meltdown, hours after a hydrogen explosion tore through the building housing a different reactor.

On the economic front, Japan’s stock market plunged over the likelihood of huge losses by Japanese industries including big names such as Toyota and Honda.

While the official death toll rose to nearly 1,900, the discovery of the washed-up bodies and other reports of deaths suggest the true number is much higher. In Miyagi, the police chief has estimated 10,000 deaths in his province alone.

Miyagi prefecture bore the full force of Friday’s tsunami, and police said 1,000 bodies were found scattered across its coast. The Kyodo news agency reported that 2,000 bodies washed up on two shorelines in Miyagi. (AP)

Some photos in this collection contain graphic images of death and destruction including some dead bodies.

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The debris of the destroyed Natori neighborhood of Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011, that was hit hard by the tsunami in the aftermath of an 8.9 earthquake. Fires continue to burn in the neighborhood as civil servants are finally able to enter the area to search for victims. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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Parents look at the body of their daughter they found in a courtesy vehicle of a driving school that's smashed by a tsunami at Yamamoto, northeastern Japan, on Sunday March 13, 2011, two days after a giant earthquake and tsunami struck the country's northeastern coast. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

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A ship washed away by tsunami sits amid debris in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, Sunday, March 13, 2011 after Japan's biggest recorded earthquake hit its eastern coast Friday. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

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A burnt ship floats in the sea in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, Sunday, March 13, 2011 after Japan's biggest recorded earthquake hit its eastern coast Friday. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

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Smoke rises from a coastal area in Ishimaki, Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan, Sunday, March 13, 2011, two days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit Japan's east coast. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

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Smoke rise from an oil refinery on fire following a tsunami triggered by a strong earthquake in Tagajo, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Sunday, March 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

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An SOS sign is written on the ground of Shizugawa High School in Minamisanrikucho in Miyagi Prefecture (state), northern Japan, Sunday, March 13, 2011, two days after the powerful earthquake and tsunami hit the area. (AP Photo/Kyodo News, Junichi Sasaki)

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Rescue workers carry an elderly man found alive by tsunami survivors buried under rubble along a slope of a hill in Minamisanrikucho in Miyagi Prefecture (state) Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's northeast coast. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Hiroaki Ohno)

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A ferry stranded on a building is seen in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan, Sunday, March 13, 2011, two days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's east coast. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun)

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Patients at a hospital wait to be evacuated without medicine and electricity in Otsuchi in Iwate Prefecture (state) Sunday, March 13, 2011, two days after a strong earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Yasuhiro Takami)

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A young evacuee looks on at an evacuation center in Kawamata, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan, Sunday, March 13, 2011. Japan's nuclear crisis intensified Sunday as authorities raced to combat the threat of multiple reactor meltdowns and more than 170,000 people evacuated the quake- and tsunami-savaged northeastern coast where fears spread over possible radioactive contamination. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

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Rescue workers carry an elderly man found alive by tsunami survivors buried under rubble along a slope of a hill in Minamisanrikucho in Miyagi Prefecture Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's east coast. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Hiroaki Ohno)

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People walk on a tsunami-affected street in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Sunday March 13, 2011, two days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's east coast. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

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In this photo released by the Japanese Defense Agency, Hiromitsu Shinkawa, right, waves to rescuers before being rescued to a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer on Sunday March 13, 2011. When spotted, the 60-year-old man was floating off the coast of Fukushima's Futaba town on the roof of his house after being swept away in a tsunami. He was in good condition. (AP Photo/Defense Ministry)

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Soldiers of Japan Self Defense Forces rescue a tsunami victim from a flooded area in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Sunday, March 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

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A woman cries as she looks for her missing husband in Minamisanriku town, Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan, Sunday, March 13, 2011, two days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's east coast. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

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A vessel sits on the rubble in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan, Sunday, March 13, 2011, two days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit Japan's east coast. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

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A dead woman lies under a blanket near the stairs of her destroyed home in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011 after Japan's biggest recorded earthquake hit its eastern coast Friday. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

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A body, covered in a blanket, lies in the rubble of a destroyed neighborhood as police officers search the area in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011. Japan's biggest recorded earthquake hit its eastern coast Friday. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

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Smoke billows from fires raging at the port in Tagajo, Miyagi prefecture on March 13, 2011 following a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11. Japan battled a feared meltdown of two reactors at a quake-hit nuclear plant, as the full horror of the disaster emerged on the ravaged northeast coast where more than 10,000 were feared dead. An explosion at the ageing Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant blew apart the building housing one of its reactors on March 12, a day after the biggest quake ever recorded in Japan unleashed a monster 10-metre (33-foot) tsunami. (KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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The debris of the destroyed Natori neighborhood of Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011, that was hit hard by the tsunami in the aftermath of an 8.9 earthquake. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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In the town of Fukushima, Japan, two hours drive south of Sendai, there is an ongoing nuclear threat after the 8.9 earthquake damaged the nearby reactor. Mari Kano, 33, holds her young son's hand as she and her two children flee their home in Fukushima on Sunday, March 13, 2011. "I'm very worried for my children. We are running away now to stay with my parents," Kano said. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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A family looks over what is left of their destroyed home in the Natori neighborhood of Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011, which was hit hard by the tsunami in the aftermath of an 8.9 earthquake. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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Men walk down a muddy road in the darkness of the destroyed Natori neighborhood of Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011, that was hit hard by the tsunami in the aftermath of an 8.9 earthquake. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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The debris of the destroyed Natori neighborhood of Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011, that was hit hard by the tsunami in the aftermath of an 8.9 earthquake. Fires continue to burn in the neighborhood as civil servants are finally able to enter the area to search for victims. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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Workers move the body of a dead woman found in the Natori neighborhood of Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011, that was hit hard by the tsunami in the aftermath of an 8.9 earthquake. Fires continue to burn in the neighborhood as civil servants are finally able to enter the area to search for victims. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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Japanese soldiers patrol in the Natori neighborhood of Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011, which was hit hard by the tsunami in the aftermath of an 8.9 earthquake. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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A man wanders through the debris of the destroyed Natori neighborhood of Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011, that was hit hard by the tsunami in the aftermath of an 8.9 earthquake. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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Men stand guard at an evacuation center, keeping warm by a fire, in the Natori neighborhood of Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011, that was hit hard by the tsunami in the aftermath of an 8.9 earthquake. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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The rubble caused by an earthquake and tsunami fill the landscape in Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after northeastern coastal towns were devastated by an earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

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Rescuers searches for the victims of Friday's tsunami at Noda village, Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a massive earthquake and the ensuing tsunami hit the country's east coast. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

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A Japan Self-Defense Force member reacts after rescuing a four-month-old baby girl in Ishinomaki, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's east coast. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Hiroto Sekiguchi)

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A man cycles by a ship at Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit Japan's east coast. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

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Upon hearing another tsunami warning, a father tries to flee for safety with his just reunited four-month-old baby girl who was spotted by Japan's Self-Defense Force member in the rubble of tsunami-torn Ishinomaki Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit northeast Japan. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Hiroto Sekiguchi)

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Japanese rescue team members carry the body of a man from the village of Saito, in northeastern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. Rescue workers used chain saws and hand picks Monday to dig out bodies in Japan's devastated coastal towns, as Asia's richest nation faced a mounting humanitarian, nuclear and economic crisis in the aftermath of a massive earthquake and tsunami that likely killed thousands. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

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People walk a road between the rubble of destroyed buildings in Minamisanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's east coast. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tsuyoshi Matsumoto)

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People walk on a railway track of Japan Railway's Ofunato Line to evacuate due to the roads are cut or buried in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, Monday March 14, 2011, three days after northeastern coastal towns were devastated by an earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

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Houses and infrastructures devastated by a strong earthquake and tsunami are seen in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, Monday March 14, 2011, three days after northeastern coastal towns were devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

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Rescue members seek survivors in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's east coast. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Masamine Kawaguchi)

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Evacuees gather around the candlelight at a blacked out shelter Monday, March 14, 2011, in Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after northeastern coastal towns were devastated by an earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

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A tsunami survivor sits down in the rubble in Yamadamachi in Iwate Prefecture Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's east coast. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Takashi Ozaki)

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A survivor of the tsunami that swept through his village of Saito, in northeastern Japan, retells the story to a rescue team that arrived to search the area Monday, March 14, 2011. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

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A cow and debris is scattered at the site of the destroyed village of Saito, in northeastern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

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A Japanese rescue team member walks through the completely leveled village of Saito in northeastern Japan Monday, March 14, 2011. Rescue workers used chain saws and hand picks Monday to dig out bodies in Japan's devastated coastal towns, as Asia's richest nation faced a mounting humanitarian, nuclear and economic crisis in the aftermath of a massive earthquake and tsunami that likely killed thousands. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

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Evacuees hug each other as they confirm each other's safety at a makeshift shelter in Otsuchicho town, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after the earthquake hit the country's east coast. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Yasuhiro Takami)

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Local people search their destroyed houses in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after northeastern coastal towns were devastated by an earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

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A girl's shoe sits in flood debris Monday, March 14, 2011, in the coastal area of Soma city, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, three days after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the country's northeast coast. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

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Firefighters search for victims Monday, March 14, 2011, in Soma city, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, three days after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the country's north east coast. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

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A resident wipes tears as she finds no remains of her home, Monday, March 14, 2011, in Soma city, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, three days after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the country's north east coast. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

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Tsunami survivor Atsushi Shishido, 30, sits where tsunami waters destroyed homes and killed neighbors though he rescued his 87-year-old grandmother in Friday's massive earthquake, Monday, March 14, 2011, in the coastal region of Soma city, Fukushima prefecture, Japan. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

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A resident of the seaside town of Toyoma, northern Japan, clears debris from the remains of the resident's home Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a giant quake and tsunami struck the country's northeastern coast. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

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A photo hangs from the remains of a house in the seaside town of Toyoma, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a giant quake and tsunami struck the country's northeastern coast. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

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A resident of the seaside town of Toyoma, northern Japan, wipes her eyes as she takes a break from clearing debris from her home Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a giant quake and tsunami struck the country's northeastern coast. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

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This satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility in Japan on Monday, March 14, 2011. Authorities are strugging to prevent the catastrophic release of radiation in the area devastated by a tsunami. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)

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This aerial view taken on March 14, 2011 during an AFP-chartered flight shows cars burnt out by fires triggered by the tsunami lined up near Sendai in Miyagi prefecture three days after a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated the coast of eastern Japan. A new explosion at a nuclear plant in nearby Fukushima prefecture hit punch-drunk Japan on March 14 as it raced to avert a reactor meltdown after a quake-tsunami disaster that is feared to have killed more than 10,000 people. (NOBORU HASHIMOTO/AFP/Getty Images)

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A woman reacts amidst debris caused by Friday's massive earthquake and the ensuing tsunami, in Natori, northern Japan Sunday, March 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Asahi Shimbun, Toshiyuki Tsunenari)

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This aerial view taken on March 14, 2011 during an AFP-chartered flight shows an area destroyed by the tsunami in Sendai in Miyagi prefecture three days after a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated the coast of eastern Japan. A new explosion at a nuclear plant in nearby Fukushima prefecture hit punch-drunk Japan on March 14 as it raced to avert a reactor meltdown after a quake-tsunami disaster that is feared to have killed more than 10,000 people. (NOBORU HASHIMOTO/AFP/Getty Images)

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A man comforts a woman as she cries in front of her damaged home in the town of Watari in Miyagi prefecture on March 14, 2011 three days after a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami devastated the coast of eastern Japan. A new explosion at a nuclear plant in nearby Fukushima prefecture hit punch-drunk Japan on March 14 as it raced to avert a reactor meltdown after a quake-tsunami disaster that is feared to have killed more than 10,000 people. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

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Natori city firefighters patrol the streets of the town once populated with hundreds of homes, now reduced to several dozens in Natori, Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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A Japanese woman looks over notes left by survivors at Natori city hall where victim assistance has been set up in Natori, Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese have been displaced as a result of the 8.9 earthquake last week. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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Norika Otoloague, 41, right, and her daughter Yui, assess the damage done to the neighborhood in Sendai, Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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Ruins from the powerful earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan can be seen in the Sendai neighborhood, Monday, March 14, 2011. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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A spoiled photo album lies in the mud near the home of the Otomo family in Sendai, Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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