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31 July


It has been 8 years since the nuclear crisis in Japan

Nuclear crisis caused by tsunami

Photo: Kyodo

/NOVOSTIVL/ Japan on Monday marked the eighth anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan that left more than 15,000 people dead and triggered the world’s worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl crisis. This article appeared in the KYODO NEWS.

While the number of displaced has dropped from its peak of 470,000, about 52,000 people have yet to return to their hometowns since the magnitude 9.0 quake struck the region on March 11, 2011.

As of Friday, the disasters had left 15,897 people confirmed dead and 2,553 unaccounted for, mostly in the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, according to the National Police Agency.

The tsunami following the earthquake engulfed the six-reactor Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant located on the Pacific coast, and caused fuel meltdowns and hydrogen explosions.

Evacuation orders, issued after the plant spewed a massive amount of radioactive materials, have been lifted in many parts of Fukushima Prefecture with the progress of decontamination work, but the stigma of radiation contamination continues to affect local food products although it has gradually lessened over the years.

At a state-sponsored memorial ceremony at the National Theater in Tokyo, a moment of silence will be observed at 2:46 p.m., the time of day when the quake occurred.