But out of the devastation came unparalleled generosity.
Since the quake hit one month ago, ABC7 viewers have donated more than $1 million to the relief effort in Japan.
Hundreds of letters and donations poured in.
A Rancho Cucamonga family said they wished they could give more, but they're losing their home to foreclosure.
Another viewer wrote that he still didn't know if his family members in Japan were alive or dead.
Some messages were simple, but heartfelt. One read: "My heart and prayer goes to the people of Japan. God Bless and guide them."
Kathy Kessomboon and her employees at Eugene's Jewelers in Los Feliz raised $900 for the relief effort.
"I saw a lot destroyed and a lot of people need help and that's why I decided to ask all my friends, ask my boss, can they help? And everybody agreed to," Kessomboon said.
"It's amazing to have such generosity come from American population as they give money freely to victims of disasters they don't even know," said Ben Green of the American Red Cross. "The Red Cross is just proud to have a partnership with ABC7."
Days after the earthquake, ABC7 viewers came out in droves to its two major fundraisers.
At the Rose Bowl, viewers helped raise $133,718.
At Angel Stadium, viewers kicked in another $117,646.
Since then, the grand total for the ABC7 relief drive reached $1,000,316.40.
Thanks to ABC7 viewers who made donations. Every dime of their donation goes to help the people of Japan.
Donations by check can be sent to:
ABC7 Japan Disaster Relief Fund
P.O. Box 5967
Glendale, CA 91221
All checks should be made out to the Red Cross, with "Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief" in the memo line.
Or donate here: American Red Cross
You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone.