Sony Kumamoto sensor factory: first public footage of the 2016 earthquake
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Sony Kumamoto sensor factory: first public footage of the 2016 earthquake

On April 16, 2016, disaster struck in Kumamoto in the Kyushu region of Japan. A series of earthquakes, including an unprecedented 7.0 mainshock, struck beneath Kumamoto City - the location of Sony's sensor factory. The factory itself was a mere 20 kilometers from the earthquake's epicenter. A foreshock (warning) of magnitude 6.2 came approximately two days earlier, which gave the factory time to evacuate. However, the damage to the carefully built, precision controlled and automated factory with clean rooms was devastating. Not to mention the impact on the lives of those in the region.

During a recent trip to the repaired Kumamoto factory, DPReview had an inside look at the facility and a chance to meet the people who keep one of the world's largest sources of imaging sensors operational. A video showed us the extent of the damages and repair efforts, which, combined with a better of understanding of how the facility operates, helped us appreciate just how substantial the destruction and repair processes were. We'll get to that in the following slides, but have a look above at the public's first view of footage from the facility during the earthquake and the massive repair efforts that followed.