The Japanese Quake Was So Powerful, It Bent the Tokyo Tower

The Tokyo Tower is perhaps Japan's most iconic structure—a mammoth symbol of advanced modernity. And today's 9.0 magnitude quake rocked the 1,091 foot-tall steel tip completely crooked—what must be an unnerving reminder looming over Tokyo's residents.

The tower, constructed in 1958 based on inspiration from the Eiffel Tower, stood as an emblem of an increasingly modernized (and westernized) nation. The structure is both a crucial part of Japan's media network—broadcasting TV and radio signals—and Tokyo's tourism trade, having drawn over 150 million visitors since its completion.

Tokyo appears to have been spared from the earthquake's destruction, but the damaged pinnacle surely serves metaphorically as the broken heart of a wounded country. [JiJi]

Pre-earthquake photo by wilhelmja