The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

A car perched precariously on the roof of a small hut. Streets packed curb to rooftop with debris. An unnamed victim's hand, reaching out from the mud.

These are but a few of the harrowing pictures now streaming out of Japan some four days after the worst earthquake that nation has seen in recorded history. The missing, when they turn up, are overwhelming found dead, each a victim of fire or flood or collapsing earth. In one small northeastern town called Minami Sanriku, 9,500 people—roughly half the town—are missing.

The sad thing is the devastation does not appear to be letting up any time soon. The northern nuclear plants are still on high alert; a 7.5 magnitude aftershock is predicted in the next 72 hours; and I just read word of an eruption at a once dormant volcano. There's no word on any connection between the eruption and the earthquake, but does it really matter? Japan is besieged today on all sides by a merciless mother nature. The "why's" can wait for later—there is work, donation and relief to be done.

Full coverage of the response, donation advice, and the latest videos and news can be be viewed in our extensive roundup section.

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 29th, 2011, 11:45 AM EST.

Pictured above: A boy looks at a coffin containing a victim of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at a mass grave site in Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Tuesday, March 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Electricians work to restore electricity on March 28, 2011 in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. (Photo by Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Tsunami-damaged homes sit in the reflections of flood waters in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

A floating crane is used to remove debris from the port at Oshima island in northeastern Japan Monday, March 28, 2011. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, where the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is located, take a rest at an evacuation center in Saitama, near Tokyo, Monday, March 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Members of the Japanese Self-Defence Force search for bodies in the debris-filled waters around Sendai in Miyagi prefecture on March 28, 2011 (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

A worker with the Japanese Red Cross takes care of a patient coming from the earthquake shelters, at the Ishinomaki hospital March 28, 2011 in Ishinomaki, Japan. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Two of the Fukushima Fifty pour over plans as they try to work out how to fix the stricken plant. (AP)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

A worker looks at gauges in the control room for Unit 1 and Unit 2 at the plant. (AP)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Workers collect data in the control room for Unit 1 and Unit 2. They must wear rubber suits to prevent as much radiation from entering their bodies as possible. (AP)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

A collapsed eave lies outside the security gate for Unit 1 and Unit 2. Much of the plant was destroyed by the tsunami. (AP)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Workers pour water onto Fukushima reactor 4. (AFP)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

MARCH 22: A man helps to clean up a Saki liquor store March 22, 2011 in Kesennuma, Japan. (Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel salute coffins of victims of the March 11 Japan earthquake and tsunami during a burial ceremony at a cemetary on March 22, 2011 in Higashimatsushima, Miyagi, Japan. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Displaced earthquake victims pack a evacuation center March 22, 2011 in Kesennuma, Japan. (Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Cars are submerged in a canal on March 21, 2011 in Kesennuma, Japan. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

A woman looks for her home amongst the debris on March 22, 2011 in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. (Photo by XINHUA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Workers prepare for Tuesday's mass burial under the earth for the March 11 earthquake and tsunami victims in Higashimatsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Masataka Morita)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Youngsters look out at tsunami damage from a hill where there is a shelter set up in a school in Minamisanriku, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

A woman, evacuated from Naraha Town, inside the 20km zone from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, receives the radiation exposure check by the Ibaraki Prefecture Government officers at Hitachi Healthcare Center. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Japanese police officers walk past a tsunami damaged hospital in Minamisanriku, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

An officer in the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force hands personal belongings to a woman as they search for the remains of a fellow family member in their home. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Apprentice geisha, called maiko, collect donations for the March 11 earthquake and tsunami victims in Kyoto, western Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Kota Kawasaki)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members carry boxes containing drinking water to the village office in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Koichi Nakamura)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Evacuees use temporary public telephones set up in Yamada, Iwate prefecture. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A Chinese search and rescue team observes a moment of silence at the devastated city of Ofunato, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Masamichi Genko)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Survivors huddle around the open fire to keep warm at a shelter in Minamisanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Ichiro Ohara)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

The top part of the badly damaged No. 4 unit of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi (via Mirror, AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co. via Kyodo News)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Japan's Self-Defense Forces's helicopter scoops water off Japan's northeast coast on its way to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Kenji Shimizu)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 16, 2011 and released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. via Kyodo News, smoke billows from wrecked Unit 3 at Japan's crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co. via Kyodo News)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 16, 2011 and released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. via Kyodo News Friday, smoke billows from wrecked unit 3 at Japan's crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture. Emergency crews worked to reconnect electricity to cooling systems and spray more water on overheating nuclear fuel at the tsunami-ravaged facility Friday. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co. via Kyodo News)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

This combination of photos provided by GeoEye shows adjacent sections of Natori, Japan on April 3, 2010, left, and March 12, 2011, right, after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami in the region. (AP Photo/GeoEye)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Building sits destroyed March 17, 2011 in Minamisanriku, Japan. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Traders work under a monitor displaying the stock index and foreign exchange at Ueda Harlow on March 17, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan. (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Japanese people fill an evacuation center trying to keep warm as winter weather made a miserable situation worse on March 17, 2011 in Minamisanriku, Japan. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

People warm themselves next to a brazier at Ando Elementary School on March 17, 2011 in Otsuchi, Iwate, Japan. (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Residents look through messages posted on the missing boards at the Kensennuma city hall on March 17, 2011 in Kensennuma, Japan (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

People walk along with cars on an earthquake and tsunami-hit area in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture , northeastern Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Evacuees keep them warm with a stove as solar power battery illuminates at an evacuation shelter in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A photo of a child lies amongst debris of a destroyed house where members of a British search and rescue team found and removed the body of an unidentified woman in the aftermath of Friday's tsunami that struck Kamaishi, Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011.

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Survivors of Friday's earthquake and tsunami huddle around the open fire to keep warm out of doors in Minamisanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Hirokazu Ono)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Snow covers an earthquake-triggered tsunami hit area in Minamisanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011.

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A woman carrying a child on her back walks through a tunnel in earthquake and tsunami-hit Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Shuhei Yokoyama)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Members of a British search and rescue team rest and eat their ration packs for lunch after finishing clearing an area in the aftermath of Friday's tsunami that struck Kamaishi, Japan, Thursday, March 17, 2011.

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Self-Defense Force members put a tarp over bodies in Minamisanriku, northern Japan. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tsuyoshi Matsumoto)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Evacuees carry bowls of pork soup from a soup kitchen back to their makeshift shelter in Minamisanriku, northern Japan. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tsuyoshi Matsumoto)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A red flag indicating bodies are laid flaps in the wind at a devastated area in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Osamu Kanazawa)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A youngster rests in a school gymnasium being used as a center for people to stay at whose homes were damaged by the tsunami in Ofunato, Japan (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Members of a British search and rescue team begin their search for trapped people as snow falls in Kamaishi, Japan (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Local people watch as a British search and rescue team search for trapped people in tsunami damaged homes as snow falls in Kamaishi, Japan (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

A girl warms herself at a shelter for the March 11 quake-triggered tsunami survivors in Onagawacho, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Close-up picture of damaged No. 4 reactor at the Fukushima nuclear plant - Yomiuiri (via @BreakingNews)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

Japan's quake and tsunami sparked a major emergency at one of the country's nuclear power stations, amid meltdown fears. (CNN)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Fire department officials wait for arriving residents evacuated from areas surrounding the Fukushima nuclear facilities damaged in Friday's massive earthquake to check them for radiation exposure. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

People receive the radiation exposure check after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. (The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Futaba Kosei Hospital patients are assisted by Japan Self Defense Force personnel as they disembark from a helicopter in the compound of Fukushima Gender Equality Centre in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Daisuke Tomita)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Evacuees watch news on a troubled nuclear power plant on television at a makeshift shelter in Fukushima, northern Japan, Tuesday, March 15, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Koichi Nakamura)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Employees of a company react at the place where their company was used to be located in Minamisanriku, Miyagi. Their colleagues and the company's president are still missing. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Tsuyoshi Matsumoto)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Members of a British search and rescue team search a smoldering industrial facility damaged by Friday's earthquake and tsunami in Ofunato, Japan. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Evacuees rest at a shelter in Yamada, Iwate, northern Japan Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Takashi Ozaki)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Officials wearing clothing to protect against radiation work in a center to scan residents who have been within 20 kilometers of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant damaged by Friday's earthquake. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

People mob to receive emergency clothing aid at a makeshift shelter in Fukushima, northern Japan. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Shuhei Yokoyama)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

In this image provided by the International Federation of Red Cross Japan, Hiromi Kinno, a nurse living in Miyako, looks at the many scribbled messages pinned on a notice board in a gymnasium March 15, 2011 in Otsuchi, Japan. Hiromi came to look for her parents and young nephews who are missing. (Photo by Toshirharu Kato/Japanese Red Cross/IFRC via Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A young girl looks out from a bus window as people rush to get out of the city in Yamagata on March 15, 2011. (MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Futaba Kosei Hospital patients who might have been exposed to radiation are carried into the compound of Fukushima Gender Equality Centre in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Daisuke Tomita)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Evacuees crowd a makeshift shelter in Fukushima, northern Japan, Tuesday, March 15, 2011. (AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Koichi Nakamura)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A boat lies in a street after being washed inshore by the recent tsunami in Hishonomaki, Miyagi prefecture on March 15, 2011. Japan's government on March 15 urged people against panic-buying of food and supplies, as the country grapples with an earthquake and tsunami and resulting nuclear crisis. (PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Soldiers carry the body of a victim as others prepare to retrieve more in Kesennuma City. (Reuters/Adrees Latif)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Cars balance amongst tsunami wrought devastation in Natori City. (MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A man comforts a woman as she cries in front of her damaged home in the town of Watari. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A religious statue stands amongst debris in a tsunami devastated area close to the sea front, in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture. (TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A soldier carries an elderly man on his back to a shelter in Natori City. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Local residents and town staff carry out relief supplies effects from a helicopter in the town of Onagawa. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

The rubble caused by an earthquake and tsunami fill the landscape in Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers urge an elderly woman to move to higher ground during a tsunami warning Monday, March 14, 2011, in the harbor of Soma City. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A Japanese wedding portrait lays in the rubble in the leveled city of Minamisanriku, in northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A man feeds his child a lunch at a makeshift shelter at Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A man shops in a convenience store where shelves on food aisles are left empty in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan, Tuesday, March 15, 2011, four days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit Japan's east coast. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)

A mother talking to her daughter, who's been isolated because of radiation exposure (Reuters, Yuriko Nakao)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A baby being checked for radiation exposure in Fukushima prefecture (European Pressphoto Agency, Asahi Shimbun)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Amazing and commendable that Japan's disaster victims are still lining up to buy groceries. (European Pressphoto Agency, Hannibal Hanschke)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Food, in Japanese. You can see a faded SOS as well. (AP, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Motoki Nakashima)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A dead woman under a blanket near her home in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture (AP, David Guttenfelder)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A ship sits grounded in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture on March 12, 2011. (REUTERS/YOMIURI)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A small car sits on a destroyed building within a devastated neighborhood in Sendai, Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011 (AP, David Guttenfelder)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Hitachi City: Cars that were first swept together into a smashed group then caught fire (Reuters, Yomiuri)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

An abandoned car, half submerged on what was one a crossroad in Sendai (Reuters, Jo Yong-Hak)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Shipping containers were tossed around like a child's building blocks in Sendai (AP, Itsuo Inouye)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

A victim's hand, seen in Rikuzentakata (Reuters, Toru Hanal)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

The tsuami is captured in this image as it sweeps over Miyako City. This photo was taken March 11 (AP, Mainichi Shimbun)

The Japan Quake's Most Powerful Photos (Updated)S

Boats became cars and litter the streets and lots of Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture (AP, The Yomiuri Shimbum, Miho Iketani) [In Focus]