Friday morning, 11 March 2011. Switched on TV to be greeted by scenes of horror from Japan. An earthquake, measuring 9 on the Richter scale, has hit Japan. Half an hour later, a tsunami of up to 40 feet in height has swept onto the country's eastern coastline, causing unbelieveable scenes of devastation. Villages, towns and cities swept away in an instant.
To date, 20,000 people are known to be dead or are still missing.
What followed was even worse. The tsunami knocked out the cooling system of the nuclear plant at Fukushima, leading to a meltdown in three of its reactors. This caused two large explosions, which spread radio-activitiy over a large area. The radio activity will take decades to decay, leaving the area around Fukushima unfit for habitation for generations.
A natural disaster, compounded by a man-made disaster.