So much for seawall protection. A couple walks past upturned vehicles sitting on a wall in the city of Miyako in Iwate prefecture on March 12, 2011 a day after a massive 8.9 magnitude quake and tsunami hit the region. An explosion at a Japanese nuclear plant triggered fears of a meltdown on March 12, after the massive earthquake and tsunami left more than 1,000 dead and at least 10,000 unaccounted for.
Pieces of the seawall that broke when a breach in the 17th Street Canal levee allowed massive amounts of waters to flood the Lakeview District are visible in the foreground, 30 September 2005 in New Orleans. The breach has been patched but a contractor who worked on the job said it is only 'a band-aid on an abscess,' and extensive work still remains to be done to make the area safe. Business owners and residents are slowly returning to many parts of the city ravaged by Hurricane Katrina one month ago.
This bird eye view taken on April 20, 2010 shows the 33.9 kilometer Saemangeum seawall in Gunsan, some 200 kilometers south of Seoul. South Korea on April 27 formally marked completion of the world's longest seawall.
Residential area along the seaside with the seawall all around to protect the residential area from Tsunami is seen on March 3, 2005 in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The Japanese Island is based on four different tectonic plates around the Shizuoka Prefecture area, the Pacific and Eurasian plates are situated underneath creating disastrous earthquakes in this area every 100 years to 150 years. The last quake hit in 1854 making the next earthquake imminent. If the next big Tokai Earthquake comes, a 2 to 10 meter high Tsunami is expected to hit the city.
Waves stirred up by Cyclone Ului batter the race yacht 'Anaconda II' against the seawall at Airlie Beach along the Queensland, Australian state coast on March 21, 2010. Thousands of properties remained without power while some schools were closed near the Great Barrier Reef tourist town of Airlie Beach where the tropical storm made landfall.
Another view of cyclone Ului battering race yacht 'Anaconda II' (R) as well as the trawler 'Sil-v-elle' (L) against the seawall at Airlie Beach, Australia.
So much for protection. French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) stands on March 16, 2010 in Charron, western France on the Bouin seawall, heavily damaged by Xynthia storm and released waters. The deadly storm that tore into southwest France wreaked more that a billion euros in damage on the proud region's key economic drivers -- tourism and luxury food production.
Local resident surveys the wreckage left after Hurricane Ike made landfall overnight September 13, 2008 in Galveston Texas. Ike caused extensive damage along the Texas Gold Coast, leaving millions without power.
A photo taken in December 27, 2008 shows a damaged seawall in the French southern city of Cerbere after a heavy rain storm caused a tidal surge.
A general view shows the damage at beach near Zandvoort caused by a storm 09 November 2007. In the Netherlands, the giant surge barrier in the port of Rotterdam remained closed -- the 1,000 foot structure was shut for the first time since its construction in the 1990s late Thursday. Seawall surveillance operations continue in the north of the Netherlands -- one third of which is below sea-level -- although they have been stood down in other parts.
A concrete seawall protects the picturesque village of Vatia in American Samoa on October 3, 2009.
Human beings have tried to protect themselves with seawalls for quite a while. This image shows the remains of the first seawall of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canvey_Island">Canvey Island,</a> England built 1622.