On Mar 11th, 2011, Japan was struck by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded.
It has taken its toll on both the land and the people of the Tohoku area and will be forever etched in the minds of Japanese people as well as many people the world over.
While very similar to the tsunami that ravaged South East Asia, unlike 6 years ago, we were able to see things unfold.
It was a horrifying scene and one that cannot truly be understood unless you were there.
No photo, video or story will ever be able to explain the fear and pain the people there felt.
Speaking from someone who survived a tsunami, I would like to share with you some things about tsunamis.
The first thing is that it’s not a wave. It’s a WALL of water coming straight towards you.
The power behind it is simply incomprehensible. And it just keeps coming.
It’s not just water. It starts off as that, but it picks up things as it moves.
Sand, rocks, soil, trees and anything in its path that’s not held down.
A tsunami is caused by an earthquake so you have double-trouble. In an earthquake you should get outside, but in a tsunami, go high.
Surviving a tsunami is part luck, part location.
When the tsunami hit our hotel in 2004, 3 people lost their lives. 100 yards down the beach at another hotel, over 80 lost theirs.
And like all natural disasters, tsunamis kill without remorse.
One thing I can say from experience is that something like this unites people. People band together to help one another.
Here in Japan, people are remaining calm, trying to figure out what to do next.
There is no fighting. People wait calmly in line for their food.
With so much of the news focusing on the tsunami and now the nuclear reactors, we seem to have forgotten just what the survivors must now go through.
Many have lost friends and family members.
They have lost so much they have worked to build.
Most have lost their homes.
Their communities destroyed.
They must now pick up the pieces and move forward. It is no easy task.
But one thing I know about the Japanese people is how strong they are inside and if any country can recover from such a tragedy, Japan can.
We returned to Khao Lak in 2007 and they had rebuilt.
In fact there was no evidence that a 12m (36ft) high tsunami had ravaged their town just three short years ago.
It will take time, it might not be easy, but life goes on.
We must all remember to move forward and not live in the past.