Asia – A Week in Pictures, March 27, 2011

March 28, 2011

Japan continues to dominate the file from Asia with new photograhers rotating in to cover the twists and turns of this complex and tragic  story.  In a country were the nation rarely buries its dead, the site of mass graves is quite a shocking scene to behold. Holes the length of football pitches are dug in the ground with mechanical digggers and divided into individual plots by the military and are then filled with the coffins of the victims of the tsunami. Family members come to weep and pray over the graves. Some are namless and marked only with DNA details, others bear the names of the victims. There is not enough power or fuel to cremate the thousands of bodies that are being recovered from the disaster zone. 

JAPAN-QUAKE/

Members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force carry a coffin of a victim of the earthquake and tsunami to be buried at a temporary mass grave site in Higashi-Matsushima, in Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

People who have either been made homeless by the tsunami or have fled the 30km exclusion zone around the stricken nuclear plant live out their lives in evacuation centres, not sure what the future will hold. There is a backdrop of growing concern over the radiation that is continuing to leak out into the atmosphere from the nuclear plants in Fukushima.  Thousands of people are still unaccounted for, international help has arrived to help with the massive task of clearing up, industry is still crippled and the weather is poor.  Next week, a school will reopen at a temporary site, 80% of the classes are either dead or missing. It is under these conditions our team of photographers continue to work. Again I wil let the pictures speak for themslves.

JAPAN-QUAKE/ 

Members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force salute after placing coffins of earthquake and tsunami victims at a temporary mass grave site in Higashi-Matsushima, in Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

QUAKE-JAPAN/FUNERAL

Family members of victims of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami stand next a coffin as more coffins arrive at a mass funeral in Kassenuma town, Miyagi prefecture March 26, 2011. Ten flimsy wood coffins were laid on two sturdy rails at a hastily prepared cemetery of mostly mud as Keseunnuma began burying its dead from the tsunami that ripped apart the Japanese coastal city. Desperate municipalities such as Kesennuma have been digging mass graves, unthinkable in a nation where the deceased are almost always cremated and their ashes placed in stone family tombs near Buddhist temples. Local regulations often prohibit burial of bodies.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria

JAPAN-QUAKE/

Tsunami victims wait in the line to receive aid more than two weeks after the area was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in a badly burnt area of Yamada town, Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan March 26, 2011. The March 11 quake and tsunami have left at least 27,000 dead and missing in northeast Japan.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj 

JAPAN/

A Buddhist monk prays for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at a temporary mass grave site in Higashi Matsushima, northeastern Japan March 22, 2011. Twenty-four bodies were buried temporarily on Tuesday and more are expected due to the lack of facilities to cremate bodies in the city. The site will be excavated to accommodate around 1,000 bodies in total. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

 JAPAN/

Higashi-Matsushima city office employee Yoshio Suzuki writes the name of a victim of the earthquake and tsunami on a piece of wood at a temporary mass grave site in Higashi-Matsushima, in Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

JAPAN/

Ducks swim past a submerged vehicle after the earthquake and tsunami in Yamada town, Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan, March 24, 2011. The Japanese government on Wednesday estimated the direct damage from a deadly earthquake and tsunami that struck the country’s northeast this month at as much as $310 billion, making it the world’s costliest natural disaster. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

JAPAN/

Elderly survivors of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami sit on a sofa at a relief shelter in Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture, Japan on March 21, 2011. REUTERS/Aly Song

JAPAN/

A piano is submerged in water in the area devastated by tsunami in Rikuzentakat March 21, 2011. Japan faces a mammoth disaster relief and reconstruction effort after its worst-ever earthquake triggered a tsunami that devastated the country’s northeastern coast, killing thousands and spawned a severe nuclear crisis.    REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

JAPAN-QUAKE/

People ride their bicycles in a flooded road at an area destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami, in Ishinomaki, north Japan, March 21, 2011. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

JAPAN- 

A boy holds a box over his head as he waits in line with people affected by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami at a food distribution in the town of Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, March 24, 2011.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria

JAPAN/

A woman makes a bed in a relative’s house where she and other 31 family members found shelter in Rikuzentakata March 23, 2011, after the area was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

JAPAN/

People whose homes were destroyed by the tsunami take a bath in a tent set up by Japan’s Self Defense Force in Kamaishi after the area was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami March 22, 2011.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

JAPAN-QUAKE/

Seventeen-year-old high school student Saki Shimizu studies English at a gymnasium of Ofunato Junior High School, serving as an evacuation shelter, in Ofunato, almost two week after the area was devastated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Issei Kato

JAPAN/

A crow flies across a road at Otsu port, which was hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, in Kitaibaraki, Ibaraki prefecture March 23, 2011.    REUTERS/Toru Hanai

JAPAN/

A fisherman walks along the debris-littered Kawajiri port, which has been damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, in Hitachi, Ibaraki prefecture, March 23, 2011.    REUTERS/Toru Hanai

JAPAN-QUAKE/

A worker throws a TV set which was damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at a temporary dump site, which was converted from a baseball field, in Sendai, north Japan March 25, 2011. Sendai city is providing five temporary dump sites to earthquake and tsunami victims, the city’s officer said.
REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

JAPAN-ECONOMY/

People go home after work by train at Tokyo station in central Tokyo March 23, 2011. The Japanese government on Wednesday estimated the direct damage from a deadly earthquake and tsunami that struck the country’s northeast this month at as much as $310 billion, making it the world’s costliest natural disaster.     REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

JAPAN/DAMAGE ESTIMATE

A worker looks at blueprints of a building to check its safety in central Tokyo March 23, 2011. The Japanese government expects total damage from a devastating earthquake that hit northeast Japan this month to reach 15 trillion to 25 trillion yen ($185-308 billion), the Nikkei newspaper reported on Wednesday.    REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

JAPAN-QUAKE/

Tap water drips into a stone vat at a shrine in Tokyo March 24, 2011. Stores in Tokyo were running out of bottled water on Thursday after radiation from a damaged nuclear complex briefly made tap water unsafe for babies, while more nations curbed imports of Japanese food. Engineers are trying to stabilise a six-reactor nuclear plant in Fukushima, 250 km (150 miles) north of the capital, nearly two weeks after an earthquake and tsunami battered the plant and devastated northeast Japan, leaving nearly 26,000 people dead or missing. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Throughout the world many are making donations to the relief aid for Japan or taking part in actions to show suppport and solidarity to those suffering. I think my favourite picture  to illustrate this was shot by Supri in indonesia, the picture simple in its graphc design.

INDONESIA

A woman places her handprint on a backdrop that represents the Japanese flag during an event in support of the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, in front of the Japanese embassy, in Jakarta March 27, 2011.   REUTERS/Supri

News of two large earthquakes in Myanmar on the Laos border was like a nightmare revisted after the tsunami of 2004 and cyclone of 2009 that killed thousands. Teams scrambled from Yangon and Bangkok as we just didn’t know the extent of the damage  from the inland quake in this remote area. Soe Zeya’s simple picture of a monk looking at the damage came as a relief as it was discovered the destruction was nowhere near the magnitude of previous disasters.

THAILAND-QUAKE/

A Buddhist monk looks up at the ceiling of an earthquake-damaged monastery in Tarlay March 26, 2011. At least 74 people were killed in the strong earthquake that struck Myanmar on March 24, state media said on Friday, while a series of aftershocks have caused panic but only limited damage in Thailand and Laos.REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

In Pakistan, a methane explosion trapped and killed over 45 miners. The picture shows just how remotely these people  were working and just how little chance , even if miners survived the blast, that they would get rescued.  Also in Pakistan, it seems that Postman Pat is playing a body double for Christian preacher Terry Jones as people demonstrate against Jones after he supervised the buring of Koran in front of a crowd of about 50 people in Florida. Something is a little lost in translation, the edge somewhat taken off the demonstration as I try to fathom why they decided use the toy Postman Pat.

PAKISTAN-COALMINE/

Residents and rescue workers gather at the entrance of a coal mine after a methane gas explosion a day earlier, in Surran range in Baluchistan province, some 35 km (22 miles) east of Quetta, March 21, 2011. The death toll from Sunday’s methane gas explosions in a coal mine in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan rose to 45 on Monday, government officials said, as hopes faded there would be any survivors from the disaster.  REUTERS/Stringer

PAKISTAN/

Supporters of Jamat Dawa use their sandals to beat an effigy of Christian preacher Terry Jones while shouting slogans in Lahore March 25, 2011. Jones, who after international condemnation last year canceled a plan to burn copies of the Koran to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, supervised the burning of the Muslim holy book in front of a crowd of about 30 people at an obscure church in Florida on Sunday, media reports said. The words in the placard reads, “Sweeper Pastor.” REUTERS/Mani Rana

The cricket world cup has reached the semi final stages with Ashes holders England beaten by Sri Lanka and Australia sent home by the hosts India. Phil Brown and Andrew Caballero-Reynolds captured the celebratuion and dejection. The orange, green and burgundy colours create a wonderful clash of colour in this beautifully composed picture shot by Adnan. If it was published in black and white, all would be lost.

CRICKET-WORLD/

West Indies’ Chris Gayle performs a stretching exercise during a cricket practice session ahead of their ICC Cricket World Cup quarter-final match against Pakistan on Wednesday, in Dhaka March 22, 2011. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

CRICKET-WORLD

Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan successfully appeals for the wicket of England’s Ravi Bopara during their ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 quarter-final match in Colombo March 26, 2011.    REUTERS/Philip Brown

CRICKET-WORLD/

England’s captain Andrew Strauss looks on during their ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 quarter-final match against Sri Lanka in Colombo March 26, 2011.                                 REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

 Asia responded to Earth Hour with lights being switched off to show support for the use of renewable energy with Nicky Loh putting together this slideshow from around the globe. I love Samsul’s picture and the notion of shadow puppets supporting turning the lights off, as surely that would ultimately end their existence .  As an aside, Truth’s picture of Seoul in half flight seems to catch the mood of Earth Hour, even though it was not taken as part of action.

CLIMATE/EARTHHOUR

A combination photo shows the skyscrapers of Singapore’s central business district before (top) and during Earth Hour March 26, 2011. Lights started going off around the world on Saturday in a show of support for renewable energy and was given added poignancy by Japan’s nuclear disaster which raises doubts about nuclear power as a possible solution. REUTERS/Tim Chong

MALAYSIA/

Volunteers participate in a “Save the Earth” display during a “wayang kulit” — a Malay traditional shadow puppet performance, after lights were turned off for Earth Hour in Kuala Lumpur March 26, 2011. Lights started going off around the world on Saturday in a show of support for renewable energy, and was given added poignancy by Japan’s nuclear disaster which raises doubts about nuclear power as a possible solution. Landmarks in thousands of cities, from Sydney Harbour Bridge to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, will turn off the power for Earth Hour, the fifth such event promoting a sustainable future for the planet. REUTERS/Samsul Said

KOREA/

Apartment buildings and houses are seen in Seoul March 22, 2011. REUTERS/Truth Leem

Lastly, as ever, pictures are included just because I like them. The cool colours of Bobby’s picture of the skyline in Hong Kong, Yusuf’s picture of a boy’s face being enveloped by a water on World Water Day and the affectionate image by Rupak of the simple irrigation system employed by a woman in a paddy field in India all caught my eye. It was New Year last week (for some) so for sheer energy I love the picture of the horsemen celebrating and lastly for love of shape and composition Masood’s image is a must see.

CHINA

A worker at “sky100″, the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC), looks at Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour March 23, 2011. The new attraction features a 360-degree panoramic view of the territory, on the world’s fourth tallest building which stands at 490 metres (1,608 feet), after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, Taipei 101 and Shanghai’s WFC. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

INDONESIA/

A child takes a bath with seawater at a seaside residential area in Makassar, South Sulawesi province March 22, 2011. The United Nations’ (U.N.) World Water Day is held on March 22 every year to increase people’s awareness of water’s importance in environment, agriculture, health and trade. REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad

INDIA-ECONOMY/INFLATION

A farmer fetches water from a nearby canal to her paddy field in Kolkata March 24, 2011. India’s food price index rose 10.05 percent in the year to March 12, government data on Thursday showed. REUTERS/Rupak de Chowdhuri

CHINA/

Herdsmen from the Kyrgyz ethnic group hold their falcons as they ride on horses during a performance to celebrate the Nowruz festival in Akqi county, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous March 20, 2011. Nowruz, which means “new day” in Kurdish, marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year on the Iranian calendar.  REUTERS/China Daily

AFGHANISTAN

Afghan boys play with toy guns during a gathering to celebrate the Afghan New Year (Nawroz) in Kabul March 21, 2011. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

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