An earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011 leveled cities and left 18,000 people dead along the east coast of Japan.
The government responded with a plan to build hundreds of sea walls in hopes of protecting coastal communities from future disasters.
Rikuzen-Takata was among the cities fortified after the tragedy. It was nearly destroyed by the tsunami, and that damage is clear when comparing Landsat 5 images from April of 2009 and April of 2011. False color images make the damage appear even more stark.
Construction of a 41-foot-high sea wall to separate the city from Hirota Bay had begun by 2014, as seen in this Landsat 8 image from April of that year. In 2019, the completed structure stands between city and sea in the space occupied a decade ago by green trees and sandy beach.