On March 11, 2011, Koide Hiroaki was in his laboratory in Kyoto, Japan. It was a gray, wet afternoon, and the 61-year-old nuclear engineer was hard at work when the earthquake hit. Fifteen miles beneath the surface of the sea, one tectonic plate rumbled beneath another. A slippery clay layer helped the great pieces of crust slide, releasing centuries of stress. The seabed rose up 16 stories, and slipped sideways 165 feet.
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