Just over a month after the worst natural disaster in modern Japanese history, scientists and researchers are still trying to piece together the mystery of exactly how and why some areas were wiped out by tsunami and others escaped.
About 22,000 Japanese troops launched an extensive search for victims of last month's earthquake and tsunami along the country's northeastern coast Sunday as the death toll from the nearly month-old disasters passed the 13,000 mark.
As some in Japan officially kicked off their first work week Monday since its epic earthquake and tsunami, others -- especially in the country's northeast -- grieved the loss of loved ones, kept fleeting hopes that missing could be found alive and tried to come to grips with a disaster that literally tore some communities apart.
Tests detected low levels of radioactivity on 17 U.S. Navy helicopter crew members when they returned to the USS Ronald Reagan after conducting disaster relief missions in Japan, the military said Monday.
In a nation already besieged with grief over mounting casualties, fears of possible radiation and the threat of more earthquakes, the nightmare grew for Japanese residents Monday as thousands of bodies reportedly surfaced and a government official confirmed another explosion at a nuclear reactor building.
While rescue efforts continue in Sendai, the city that lies just 80 miles (130 kilometers) east of the earthquake epicenter, the long-term future of the metropolis and surrounding area looks uncertain.