9.0 earthquake

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Japan Marks 2 Years Since Quake, Tsunami

300K still displaced as recovery continues

(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... More »

Alaska Coast Like a 'Landfill' 2 Years After Tsunami

Hawaii, British Columbia not sitting much prettier

(Newser) - We're about a month away from the two-year anniversary of the earthquake that spawned Japan's devastating tsunami . Saying its effects linger far from Japanese shores is an understatement, per some recent reports:
  • In Alaska: "You're basically standing in landfill out here," says the head of
... More »

Japan Restarts Nuke Reactor

Protests break out as public safety concerns persist

(Newser) - Japan re-entered the nuclear business today for the first time since the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdown more than a year ago, reports Reuters . Kansai Electric Power Co fired up the No. 3 reactor at its Ohi plant, and will add its No. 4 reactor later this month. The move comes as... More »

Japanese Tsunami Dock Washes Up in Oregon

Biologists fear invasive species hitched a ride

(Newser) - The West Coast has encountered its largest piece of tsunami debris yet—an entire dock that was ripped from its moorings by the monster wave that hit Japan 15 months ago. The 66-foot structure was spotted floating off the coast of Oregon on Monday and washed ashore sometime yesterday. It'... More »

Somber Japan Marks Year Since Quake

Country pauses to remember its dead

(Newser) - At 2:46pm local time today, people all across Japan stood in silence to remember the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami exactly one year ago that killed more than 19,000 people, destroyed 370,000 homes, and created the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, reports the AP... More »

Radiation Found in Japanese Baby Formula

Levels not high enough to pose health risk, parents told

(Newser) - Nearly nine months after the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami wrought havoc on Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, the country's nuclear nightmare is continuing. Traces of radiation have been found in infant formula for the first time and while government experts say the levels aren't high enough to... More »

20M Tons of Tsunami Debris Heads for US Shores

Expected to reach Hawaii in early 2013, then mainland in 2014

(Newser) - Debris from the massive tsunami that struck Japan in March is on its way: Up to 20 million tons of trash, like "confetti soup," is slowly drifting across the Pacific Ocean and heading toward the United States, reports the LA Times . Already garbage has been found 2,000... More »

Japan PM Resigning

Naoto Kan will officially quit next week

(Newser) - Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced today he would resign after almost 15 months in office amid plunging approval ratings over his government's handling of the tsunami disaster and nuclear crisis. In a nationally televised speech, Kan said he was stepping down as chief of the ruling Democratic Party... More »

Quake Survivors Return $78M in Found Cash

Nearly 6,000 safes have washed ashore in Japan

(Newser) - In the five months since a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated the east coast of Japan, honest citizens have returned $78 million in cash—$48 million found in thousands of wallets, and $30 million from some 5,700 safes that turned up onshore, reports ABC News . One safe had $1... More »

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Stabilized

Workers on track for cold shutdown within six months

(Newser) - Some good news from Japan: The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is stabilized and a cold shutdown should be achieved within six months. Even so, Tokyo Electric Power Co. warns that final cleanup—which will involve encasing the plant in concrete—could take more than 10 years. Engineers have recently... More »

Japan's Big Roadblock: 25M Tons of Debris

Before the nation can fully rebuild, it has years of cleanup ahead

(Newser) - A giant kiln at a cement factory in Japan finally returned to action today and incinerated 10 tons of debris from the March earthquake. Which sounds like a handsome total until you consider that an estimated 25 million tons remain, reports the Wall Street Journal . The nation is now grappling... More »

Tepco Halts Water Filtering at Fukushima

Power company running out of room to store contaminated water

(Newser) - Tokyo Electric launched its much-hyped water filtration system yesterday at its foundering Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant—only to shut it down a mere five hours later. The setback is very serious, notes the New York Times, with Tepco in grave danger of running out of room for the tens of... More »

Japan's PM Beats Censure, Hints He'll Resign

Naoto Kan acknowledged 'shortcomings' after earthquake

(Newser) - Prime Minister Naoto Kan defeated a no-confidence motion today over his handling of Japan's triple disasters, but the victory may be short lived—he said he is willing to resign once the country's recovery kicks in. Kan, who has been criticized for delays in the construction of temporary... More »

What Really Happened When Quake Hit Fukushima

Nuclear crisis was more desperate than the world realized

(Newser) - The first 24 hours of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi were more chaotic and dangerous than the outside world ever dreamed. When the tsunami hit and knocked out the plant’s backup generators, workers turned into scavengers, searching nearby homes for flashlights and ripping the batteries out of... More »

Japan to Aging Nuke Plant: Shut Down

Hamaoka plant in earthquake-prone region closer to Tokyo than Fukushima Dai-ichi

(Newser) - Nearly two months after an earthquake-tsunami one-two sent Fukushima Dai-ichi into a nuclear crisis that will haunt it for decades, Japan is telling another aging nuclear plant to close its doors until it can muster stronger defenses against Mother Nature. The decision might seem like it took an eternity to... More »

Workers Venture Back Into Exploded Reactor

They're attempting to use ventilation system to clear radioactive air

(Newser) - Workers entered one of the damaged reactor buildings at Japan's stricken nuclear power plant today for the first time since it was rocked by an explosion in the days after a devastating earthquake, the country's nuclear safety agency said. They'll attempt to connect ventilation equipment in Unit... More »

S&P Downgrades Japan, Too

Rating agency fears cost of rebuilding will damage country's finances

(Newser) - Looks like the US has some company: Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Japan’s credit outlook to negative, much as it did for the US last week. In Japan’s case the culprit is, of course, the earthquake and tsunami, which S&P believes could cost the government as... More »

Japan Launching Massive Recovery Mission

Soldiers aim to retrieve bodies from land and sea

(Newser) - Japan will begin an extensive recovery mission tomorrow, sending almost 25,000 soldiers into the disaster zone to look for the bodies of last month’s earthquake and tsunami victims. About 14,300 people are confirmed dead, but another 12,000 are still missing and presumed killed, the AP reports.... More »

Japan Bans Entering Evacuation Zone

Residents barred from returning amidst radiation fears

(Newser) - The 12.5 miles surrounding the foundering Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant are now officially off limits, the Japanese government announced yesterday. Until now, the government had merely advised people that entering the evacuation zone was a bad idea, but many residents ignored that advice, venturing in to retrieve their possessions... More »

Tepco: Fukushima Crisis Over in 6-9 Months

Plant operator outlines plans to shut down reactors

(Newser) - Tepco today laid out a plan to have the nuclear crisis at Fukushima Dai-ichi contained within six to nine months. "We sincerely apologize for causing troubles," said Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata in unveiling the plan. "We are doing our utmost to prevent the crisis from further worsening."... More »

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