|Posted on March 11, 2016 at 7:40 AM|
Japan tsunami tragedy remembered five years on
BBC | March 11, 2016
Japan is marking the fifth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that left more than 18,000 dead or missing.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Emperor Akihito are attending a memorial in Tokyo, and joined a moment of silence nationwide at the exact moment the quake hit.
The magnitude-9.0 quake struck offshore, creating a vast water surge that devastated the north-east coast.
It also triggered the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Water inundated the plant, taking cooling systems offline which set off a series of meltdowns.
The subsequent disaster spewed radiation over a wide area and forced the evacuation of more than 160,000 local people.
Five years on, most have not been able to return to their homes, despite extensive decontamination work.
The earthquake on 11 March 2011 was one of the most powerful ever recorded.