Japan

Japan Marks 13th Anniversary of Fukushima Earthquake and Tsunami

Japan recently marked the 13th anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Fukushima prefecture, leading to significant loss of life and ongoing challenges related to nuclear decommissioning and environmental safety.

At a glance

  • 13th anniversary of Fukushima earthquake and tsunami
  • Approximately 20,000 lives lost
  • Over 160,000 people evacuated, 20,000 still unable to return
  • Efforts to remove radioactive melted fuel debris are yet to start
  • Renewed calls for review of evacuation plans after recent quake in Noto

The details

Japan recently marked the 13th anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Fukushima prefecture on March 11, 2011. The 9.0 magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami hit Japan’s northeastern coast, resulting in the tragic loss of approximately 20,000 lives.

To commemorate the event, people across Japan observed a minute of silence at 2:46 p.m., the exact time when the earthquake occurred.

The tsunami wreaked havoc on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, leading to meltdowns in three reactors.

This catastrophic event forced over 160,000 people to evacuate their homes initially, with 20,000 individuals still unable to return due to lingering radiation concerns.

Despite the passage of time, efforts to remove the radioactive melted fuel debris at the plant have yet to commence.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to providing support for the rebuilding and safe decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Memorial events were held in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, which bore the brunt of the casualties from the disaster.

In the wake of a recent devastating quake in Noto on January 1, there have been renewed calls for a review of evacuation plans to bolster preparedness for future calamities.

The government has set its sights on ensuring the safe and transparent decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

However, the decision to release treated radioactive wastewater into the sea has sparked protests from local fishers and neighboring countries.

Despite these challenges, Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori remains optimistic about the region’s recovery process.

While reconstruction efforts have made significant strides in Iwate and Miyagi, many former residents have yet to return to their communities.

Notably, national memorial services have not been held in Tokyo since the 10th anniversary, with local services now taking place in the disaster-affected regions.

As Japan continues to grapple with the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, the government faces ongoing pressure to prioritize the safety and well-being of its citizens while navigating the complexities of nuclear decommissioning and environmental concerns.

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Facts attribution

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independent.co.uk
– Japan marked the 13th anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Fukushima prefecture
– A 9.0 magnitude quake and tsunami struck Japan’s northeastern coast on March 11, 2011, killing about 20,000 people
– People across Japan observed a minute of silence at 2:46 p.m., the time of the earthquake
– The tsunami destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing meltdowns in three reactors
– More than 160,000 people were initially forced to leave their homes, with 20,000 still unable to return due to radiation
– Work to remove radioactive melted fuel debris at the plant has not yet begun
– Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged government support for rebuilding and safe decommissioning of the plant
– Memorial events were held in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, where most deaths occurred
– Calls for a review of evacuation plans were renewed after a devastating quake in Noto on Jan. 1
– The government aims to ensure the safe and transparent decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi plant
– Treated radioactive wastewater has been released into the sea, facing protests from local fishers and neighboring countries
– Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori expressed confidence in the region’s recovery process
– Reconstruction of infrastructure has been largely completed in Iwate and Miyagi, but many former residents have not returned
– National memorial services have not been held in Tokyo since the 10th anniversary, with local services now hosted in disaster-hit areas.

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