Satellite images show Japan before and after quake

Google compiles a collection of high-resolution before-and-after satellite images that depict the areas affected most by the deadly quake.

Before and after the quake, Arahama in Sendai.
Before and after the quake, Arahama in Sendai. This image shows one continuous landscape across the rectangle--at center, see the roadway sloping slightly upward from left to right across the black bar. In the original, dynamic version of this image, the black bar can be scrolled left and right across the landscape. Google, ABC, GeoEye

It's a startling picture of how dramatic and destructive Friday's massive earthquake actually was.

The quake, which was upgraded today to a magnitude 9.0 by the Japan Meteorological Agency, may have shifted the position of Earth's axis about 6.5 inches, Richard Gross, a geophysicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told the Los Angeles Times. The quake likely sped up the Earth's rotation, shortening the day by 1.8 microseconds, Gross said. Also, the main island of Japan appears to have moved 8 feet, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey told CNN.

To help illustrate the damaging power of the quake and the ensuing tsunami, Google has compiled a collection of high-resolution before-and-after satellite images that depict the areas affected most by the devastation.

"We're working to provide this data directly to response organizations on the ground to aid their efforts," Ryan Falor, Google Crisis Response team, said in a Google Lat Long Blog post. "We hope this new updated satellite imagery is valuable for them as well as everyone else following this situation to help illustrate the extent of the damage."

ABC News has created a presentation of the images, overlaying the before and after images for each specific area for a more immediate representation of the quake and tsunami's devastating effects.

 

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