Japanese Pay Tribute To Thousands Of Lives Lost In 2011 Earthquake, Tsunami And Nuclear Accident

People across Japan remembered the thousands of lives lost when a massive earthquake and tsunami struck along the northern Pacific coast 12 years ago.

The disaster triggered a nuclear catastrophe, which remains unresolved. People across the country observed a moment of silence at 2:46 pm, the exact time the magnitude 9 earthquake struck.

The magnitude 9.0 quake struck at 2:46 PM on March 11, 2011, generating tsunami waves more than ten meters tall. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was engulfed, causing a triple meltdown.

Authorities say the toll of those confirmed dead or missing has topped 22 thousand. This total includes people who died in the years following the disaster, from health problems or causes related to it.

Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to evacuate, and more than 30 thousand of them were still displaced as of last month.

Twelve years on, over 300 square kilometers of land near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is still classified as a “difficult-to-return” zone. People waiting to move back to these areas face an uncertain future.

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