On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by an earthquake so strong that it moved the island up to 13 feet closer to the United States, ever-so-slightly increased the rotation speed of the Earth and shortened the day by 1.8 millionths of a second, and shifted the axis of the Earth by 6.5 inches.
Within 15 minutes, a tsunami from 33 feet to 121 feet crashed into the coast and up to six miles inland, washing out trains, buildings and bridges along coastal towns and causing massive fires and dam failures. The earthquake (and prior human negligence) caused the Fukushima nuclear power plant to fail, resulting in three nuclear meltdowns and radioactive leaks; it was the worst nuclear power plant failure since Chernobyl, and 154,000 people in the surrounding area were forced to evacuate.
In total, 15,894 people died and 2,558 are still missing. 121,800 buildings were totally destroyed and over a million buildings were either half or partially destroyed, according to the Reconstruction Agency. According to the agency, $315 billion have been allocated to restore damage done by the 9.0 magnitude quake.