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Japan Marks 3rd Anniversary of Tsunami Disaster 77

AmiMoJo writes "Today Japan marks the third anniversary of the 11th of March 2011 disaster when the country was hit by a magnitude 9 earthquake huge tsunami and severe nuclear accident. More than 18,500 people were killed or went missing. Nearly 3,000 others died while evacuated from their homes, and over a quarter of a million people were still living in temporary housing as of February. Work to build new housing on higher ground is lagging behind schedule.

Three reactors melted down at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the quake and tsunami, but the exact cause of the accident is still unknown. How massive amounts of radioactive materials from the reactors were dispersed is also unclear. Today was also the day when hundreds of former residents announced that they were suing TEPCO, the plant operator, and the government for additional compensation."
Although the nuclear accident was dwarfed by the other devastation, the effects of the meltdown will be felt for much longer. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists published an article today on the reactors that didn't meltdown, and the NRC chair has some comments on the progress at Fukishima.
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Japan Marks 3rd Anniversary of Tsunami Disaster

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  • by Toad-san ( 64810 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @01:49PM (#46456065)

    Study what you know nothing about. []

    "Nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals were manufactured in anticipation of the casualties resulting from the invasion of Japan; the number exceeded that of all American military casualties of the 65 years following the end of World War II, including the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In 2003, there were still 120,000 of these Purple Heart medals in stock."

    That's right: we're STILL awarding Purple Heart medals manufactured for that invasion.

  • I watched it on TV (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lemur3 ( 997863 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @02:08PM (#46456215)

    I remember when this happened it was like 1am or so.. maybe a bit later and I was flipping through channels and I saw this weird looking flood type thing.. and a bunch of Japanese looking text.... it was the NHK channel

    it was going for a very long time, perhaps an hour or more, before it appeared on your CNNs and and NBCs and such..

    It was shocking and compelling footage from a helicopter of the tsunami rolling over the landscape..

    it was an interesting way to come up on a news story... it was in a language I didnt understand, not on a "news" channel (this channel normally just had japanese language variety type programming) and I couldn't even quite tell what was happening at first.. but by the warnings on the screen, and the tone of the voices of the people talking you knew it was a huge event.. you could see that it was..

    over the next few days that channel was what I watched almost exclusively.. I never understood a word of it.. but the scope of things just got worse and worse.. and that was something that seemed missing from the American coverage.... it never quite conveyed the violence, the horror and the magnitude.. is kind of hard for CNN do when they need to cut away for Cheerios commercials

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @04:37PM (#46457597) Homepage Journal

    I was in Japan when it happened.

    It was mid afternoon and I was doing some shopping in a model train shop in Akiba. 5th floor. Everything started to sway a lot and I knew it was big, but at the time didn't really appreciate just how big. Japan is mostly earthquake proof so it's not like buildings were falling down around me or anything, but the shop took some damage as stuff was knocked over. When it finally stopped everyone made their way down the stairs and out onto the street, away from buildings in case of aftershocks and falling debris.

    I sent an email to my mother from my phone, letting her know I was okay. After a while people just went back to shopping again, or wondering around seeing if there was much damage. There wasn't really in Tokyo, a few burst pipes and bits fallen off buildings but nothing too terrible. Some shops closed, others stayed open for a while but then decided to close early as news came in that the trains were not running.

    I was actually kind of annoyed about the trains and eventually walked home since it was only maybe 5-6km. Watched some coverage on the news that evening with friends and it slowly started to become apparent just what had happened and how bad it was. More and more footage kept coming in and we just couldn't stop watching. NHK covered it 24/7 for the next week or so.

    The next day we were hearing that Fukushima was in crisis, but there was little information to go on. Foreign news agencies were hyping it up, CNN called it worse than Hiroshima. People were mostly quite calm about it though, more worried than anything. Over the next few days it got worse and worse, but even so there wasn't mass panic.

    The real concern now is the long term effects. People are aware that it took years for children near Chernobyl to be diagnosed with cancer, so they want their own children checked regularly to catch it as early as possible. Some people say it isn't needed, but if you had been in Japan at the time and seen the lack of information and clarity from the government and TEPCO you would understand why they feel they can't take their word for that.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?