This recently released footage, taken on-board a car, shows how quickly the floodwaters surged onto the streets during the March 11 tsunami. Motorists had little time to react, and the way vehicles floated and bobbed reveal the tremendous power of the tsunami.
The driver of this car survived. British broadcaster ITN provided the English translations from the original Japanese news video.
Our past coverage of the Japan earthquake and tsunami is in this in-depth report.
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Philip Yam is the managing editor of ScientificAmerican.com, responsible for the overall news content online. He began working at the magazine in 1989, first as a copyeditor and then as a features editor specializing in physics. He is the author of The Pathological Protein: Mad Cow, Chronic Wasting and Other Prion Diseases. Follow Philip Yam on Twitter