Japan Marks 2 Years Since Quake, Tsunami
300K still displaced as recovery continues
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2013 3:17 AM CDT
Updated Mar 11, 2013 3:37 AM CDT
Police officers search for the remains of those who went missing in the March 11, 2011 tsunami in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

(Newser) – Japan fell silent today to mark the second anniversary of the country's worst natural disaster in living memory, an earthquake and subsequent tsunami that left 19,000 people dead or missing and devastated large areas along its northeast coast. "I pray that the peaceful lives of those affected can resume as soon as possible," Emperor Akihito said at a memorial service in Tokyo. But two years after the disaster, more than 300,000 people remain displaced and the cleanup and reconstruction process is ongoing, the AP reports.

Around half of those still displaced are evacuees from around the Fukushima nuclear plant, where meltdowns occurred at three reactors after tsunami waters knocked out cooling systems. The country's 50 nuclear reactors were shut down after the disaster and only two have reopened since, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is continuing his push to restart them after safety checks, the BBC reports. At Fukushima, thousands of workers are still decontaminating and decommissioning the plant, a process expected to take up to 40 years.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Japan Marks 2 Years Since Quake, Tsunami is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 2 of 2 comments
Mar 11, 2013 6:44 AM CDT
You do all realize the Fukushima plant is still leaking and billowing radiation? And nobody seems to care! I guess they're waiting for the day we all have cancer and figure out its from there and then decide to put a Chernobyl-level effort into fixing it? Well, I guess we'll find out in 40 years... or wait, is it 38 now? But all the Japs have done so far is deny everything every step. All the medias done is ignore it. And all our governments done is raise the standards, then ignore and deny it. Then again, I guess there's nothing we (as the people) could really do anyway. We can't stop or even slow the global nuclear industry apparently. Seems capitalism has run a muck internationally and this is just more proof there is no stopping it till we all die. Oh well, Happy Proof Of A Mucked-Up World Anniversary!
Mar 11, 2013 5:41 AM CDT
A very sad anniversary.