Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Japan marks 2011 earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster
By Hiroshi HIYAMA
Tokyo (AFP) March 11, 2016


Japan pauses on Friday to mark five years since an offshore earthquake spawned a monster tsunami that left about 18,500 people dead or missing along its northeastern coast and sparked the worst nuclear disaster in a quarter century.

The massive 9.0 magnitude quake unleashed a giant wall of water that swallowed schools and entire neighbourhoods, with unforgettable images spreading around the world of panicked residents fleeing to higher ground and vehicles and ships bobbing in the swirling waters of flooded towns.

The waves also swamped power supplies at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, causing reactor meltdowns that released radiation in the most dangerous nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 and which continues to leave some areas uninhabitable.

Memorial events are expected across the northern coastal region directly hit by the catastrophe -- one of Japan's worst peacetime disasters.

In the capital Tokyo, which also shook violently when the quake struck, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko as well as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will pay respects at a national ceremony.

A moment of silence will take place at 2:46 pm (0546 GMT) -- the exact moment when the earthquake struck under the Pacific Ocean on March 11, 2011.

The situation remain volatile in Fukushima prefecture, where the nuclear plant suffered explosions that spread radioactive material into the surrounding countryside and ocean.

The nuclear crisis forced tens of thousands of area residents to flee their homes, farms and fishing boats and at one point even led to discussions about possibly evacuation the capital area and its 30 million people.

- 'Cold shutdown' -

Since then, authorities have brought the reactors to a state of "cold shutdown" and dispatched work crews to cleanse affected houses, sweep streets and shave topsoil in "decontamination" efforts.

Tokyo Electric Power, the operator of the shuttered plant, admits it has only made small steps in what is likely to be a four-decade battle to decommission the crippled reactors.

Despite growing public opposition to nuclear power as a result of the disaster, the government has pushed to restart idled reactors, saying they are essential to power the world's third largest economy.

Japan's entire stable of reactors was shuttered in the aftermath of the disaster but Abe and utility companies have been pushing to get reactors back in operation despite opposition and legal hurdles.

Only this week, a court ordered the shutdown of two nuclear reactors previously declared safe, demonstrating the ongoing battles over Japan's energy policy.

The disaster had forced resource-poor Japan to turn to expensive fossil fuels to plug the energy gap left by the shutdowns.

Speaking on the eve of the anniversary, Abe told the nation that it "cannot do without" nuclear power, though vowed to reduce dependence on it.

Abe, along with other political and business leaders, has frequently visited the disaster-struck region and pledged to help rebuild the area and lives of local people.

Expensive infrastructure including giant seawalls are being constructed and many local businesses have managed to rebuild -- including factories in the region crucial to auto industry supply chains that suffered major disruptions.

But many young families have moved away, accelerating its depopulation amid the broader greying of society, while those who have evacuated but want to return wonder if they ever can.

"For each and every one of the people whose lives were affected by the disaster, these five years must have been days of hardship and pain," Abe said Thursday.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Fukushima 'dark tourism' aids remembrance and healing
Namie, Japan (AFP) March 6, 2016
Shinichi Niitsuma enthusiastically shows visitors the attractions of the small town of Namie: its tsunami-hit coastline, abandoned houses and hills overlooking the radiation-infested reactors of the disabled Fukushima nuclear plant. Five years after the nuclear disaster emptied much of Japan's northeastern coast, tourism is giving locals of the abandoned town a chance to exorcise the horrors ... read more


DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Among the believers: hope endures for MH370 relatives

Web users lament China's 'forest of steel' after lift death

Mutations, DNA damage seen in Fukushima forests: Greenpeace

Fukushima 'dark tourism' aids remembrance and healing

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
UMass Amherst team offers new, simpler law of complex wrinkle patterns

New laser achieves wavelength long sought by laser developers

Stretchable electronics that quadruple in length

Electron-beam imaging can see elements that are 'invisible' to common methods

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Desalination plants a 'hidden asset' for power, water

New York oyster beds once protected against storms and wave damage

Fish populations revealed through seawater analysis

Using rainwater to flush toilets

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
In search of Earth's oldest ice

Greenland's ice is getting darker, increasing risk of melting

How permafrost thawing affects vegetation, carbon cycle

Russian scuba divers set deepest under-ice dive record

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Impact of climate change on agriculture may be underestimated

South Africa says drought cost farmers $1 billion

Urgent need to transform key food producing regions in Africa by 2025

Recoupling crops and livestock offers energy savings to dairy farmers

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
How rivers of hot ash and gas move when a supervolcano erupts

Shipwrecks, tree rings reveal Caribbean hurricanes in buccaneer era

Five years on, Japan tsunami scars visible and invisible

The maximum earthquake magnitude for North Turkey

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Nigerian Army Council clears Boko Haram arms officer

S.African private army protects world's largest rhino farm

Rwanda prosecutors demand 22 years in jail in sedition trial

US top brass urge tighter W. Africa response to Islamist threat

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
ONR Global sponsors research to improve memory through electricity

Easter Island not destroyed by war, analysis of 'spear points' shows

Neanderthals and modern H. sapiens crossbred over 100,000 years ago

Neanderthals mated with modern humans much earlier than previously thought




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement