Sunday, March 11, 2012

Millions to mark tsunami anniversary, Japan

Memorial services will be held around Japan today to mark a year since 19,000 people were killed in the country's largest recorded earthquake and tsunami.

People in Fukushima and throughout the tsunami zone will today mark the moment their communities were devastated at 2:46pm (4:46pm AEDT).

At that precise moment on March 11, 2011, the largest earthquake in Japan's recorded history sent a massive tsunami crashing into the country's north-east.

Dozens of communities along a 600-kilometre stretch of coastline were devastated by the waves, which left thousands dead or missing.

The magnitude-9.0 earthquake sent the 14-metre high tsunami crashing into the Fukushima nuclear facility, knocking out the plant's cooling system and triggering meltdowns in reactors one, two and three. It was the world's worst nuclear disaster in a quarter of a century.

Hundreds of square kilometres of land have been contaminated by significant levels of radioactive caesium, which has a half-life of 29 years. Read More