A minute of silence commemorating the victims of the 2011 earthquake

Japan observed a minute of silence to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami disaster of 11 March 2011. The 9.0 magnitude quake was one of the most powerful ever registered.  It unleashed a huge tsunami that swept the hinterland, destroying cities and its key infrastructure and causing the collapse of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The survivors prayed for the victims with the moment of silence at 14.46 local time, the exact time of the quake. Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will speak later at the memorial service. More than 18,000 people died and nearly half a million were displaced, of which over 40,000 are still unable to return home.

In Fukushima, the explosion of some nuclear reactors caused the evacuation of at least 180,000 people: the tsunami waves engulfed the cooling systems, causing several explosions in the following days as well. A few days ago the UN declared that the radioactive emissions caused by the accident no longer have harmful effects on the health of the local population.

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