15 March 2011
Last updated at 09:56
Japan is experiencing its greatest hardship since World War II in the aftermath of an earthquake and tsunami. Here is a selection of photos taken by BBC News website readers in Japan. Yuka Miyoshi: "I live in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. There was a smoke cloud in the sky after the earthquake as aftershocks went on."
Sarah Feinerman from California, USA, took this photo outside a school in Ibaraki, Japan where she works as an English teacher. She said: "I have lived in Japan for three and a half years and they have many earthquakes here but this was different, the shaking went on for a long time. I just froze"
Sarah Feinerman: "The city hall in Ibaraki. Japan was converted into a water station, where people brought trash cans and buckets and received clean drinking water from trucks. There is no running water and food supplies are low in many local shops."
Sarah Feinerman: "A crumbled wall is a common sight in Ishioka, after the earthquake." The 8.9-magnitude tremor struck in the afternoon local time on Friday off the coast of Honshu island, Japan.
Dennis Mensa from London is living in Japan. He took this photo during aftershocks. He said: "There is a lot of damage done to houses in Sendai, Japan, where I am staying, after the earthquake hit."
Residents of the coastal city of Sendai, Japan are continuing the search for survivors amid the devastation. Dennis Mensa: "I really want to leave Sendai - I was supposed to go to Tokyo - but there is no public transport out of the city. I am now stuck here indefinitely."
The earthquake was felt in Tokyo where many people were working in high rise office buildings. Matthew Baxter said: "The train system shut down in Sangenjaya, Ikebukuro, Tokyo after the earthquake, making it hard for people to leave the city."
Matthew Baxter: "There was a lot of panic buying at shops near where I live in Sangenjaya, Ikebukuro, Tokyo after the earthquake. Many of the shelves in the supermarkets were bare."
Winsy Ng: "When the earthquake hit I was on top of Mount Hakone, Japan. We were told that an earthquake had happened, and the cable car had to be suspended. There was only one way down. All 40 of us walked down apart from a pregnant woman and her family who had to wait to be rescued by a helicopter."
Gautam Mahesh: "In Mito, Ibaraki, Japan we were hit by a 6.5-magnitude quake. It was absolute chaos. Many after shocks followed for hours after the first quake."
Telephone and electricity cables were badly damaged in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan after the earthquake struck. Photo: Hiromi Iguch
This is some of the damage Kuji city experienced after the tsunami hit. Photo: Lee Wood
Hiromi Iguch: "The area of Urayasu in Chiba. The whole area is now covered by 2ft (60cm) of mud."
There were large cracks in Urayasu in Chiba, Japan, and roads had to be closed. Photo: Hiromi Iguchi. Send your photos to email@example.com for terms and conditions go to bbc.co.uk/terms