Speaking from experience...
As a resident of New Orleans for the last twenty years, I have actually lived through a large-scale disaster and its aftermath (thankfully nowhere near as profound as the tsunami in Japan, but still quite bad). In the aftermath, most people here had an almost obsessive compulsion to make "outsiders" understand what we were going through. This has both emotional and practical aspects.
I remember taking multiple friends and relatives on aerial "disaster tours" via Google Maps. In fact, at one point Google upgraded the New Orleans satellite photos to higher resolution images that were taken before the storm. This had the unfortunate side-effect of making it look like everything was all better overnight. Local press excoriated Google for the move, and very quickly Google returned to the lower-resolution but more accurate post-Katrina images.
I suppose it's possible to look at accurate photos of a post-disaster community and see nothing but "disaster porn," but that might say more about the viewer than the image.