Photos: Remembering the Fukushima tragedy, a decade later

  • Japan on Thursday marked the 10th anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that hit its northeastern region, where many survivors' lives are still on hold. Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga were among those observing a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m. — the minute the shaking started — at a memorial in Tokyo.
  • The magnitude 9.0 quake that struck on March 11, 2011, was one of the biggest on record and set off a massive tsunami that swept far inland, destroying towns and causing meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. More than 18,000 people died, mostly in the tsunami, and nearly half a million people were displaced. Ten years later, more than 40,000 people are still unable to return home in and around Fukushima, where areas near the wrecked plant are still off-limits due to radioactive contamination.
PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST 12 Photos
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This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, Japan on March 14, 2011 after the explosion following an earthquake and tsunami.(Maxar Technologies via AP)

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, Japan on March 14, 2011 after the explosion following an earthquake and tsunami.(Maxar Technologies via AP)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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This file picture taken on March 11, 2011 by Sadatsugu Tomizawa and released via Jiji Press on March 21, 2011 shows tsunami waves hitting the coast of Minamisoma in Fukushima prefecture, in the wake of the 9.0-magnitude quake. Japan on March 11, 2021, marks 10 years since the worst natural disaster in the country's living memory -- the massive earthquake, deadly tsunami and nuclear meltdown which together killed over 18,400 people. (JIJI PRESS / AFP / Japan OUT)

This file picture taken on March 11, 2011 by Sadatsugu Tomizawa and released via Jiji Press on March 21, 2011 shows tsunami waves hitting the coast of Minamisoma in Fukushima prefecture, in the wake of the 9.0-magnitude quake. Japan on March 11, 2021, marks 10 years since the worst natural disaster in the country's living memory -- the massive earthquake, deadly tsunami and nuclear meltdown which together killed over 18,400 people. (JIJI PRESS / AFP / Japan OUT)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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A combination photo shows a tsunami-hit area (top) taken from a helicopter on March 11, 2011 in Natori in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan and the same area from the helicopter on February 14, 2021, ahead of the 10-year anniversary of the 2011 disaster that killed thousands and set off a nuclear crisis.(Kyodo via REUTERS)

A combination photo shows a tsunami-hit area (top) taken from a helicopter on March 11, 2011 in Natori in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan and the same area from the helicopter on February 14, 2021, ahead of the 10-year anniversary of the 2011 disaster that killed thousands and set off a nuclear crisis.(Kyodo via REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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The damage to the No. 3 reactor building shows the ferocity of the hydrogen blast that happened after a tsunami struck at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan on March 1, 2021. (Sakura Murakami / REUTERS)

The damage to the No. 3 reactor building shows the ferocity of the hydrogen blast that happened after a tsunami struck at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan on March 1, 2021. (Sakura Murakami / REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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A rotated overview of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Japan before the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, in this Maxar handout satellite image taken on November 15, 2009. (Maxar Technologies via REUTERS)

A rotated overview of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Japan before the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, in this Maxar handout satellite image taken on November 15, 2009. (Maxar Technologies via REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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A statue stands surrounded by weeds at a park in the exclusion zone in Tomioka town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, on February 26, 2021. The no-go zone sits on its northeastern corner within about 10 kilometres (6 miles) of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant where massive radioactive fallouts spewed in 2011.(Hiro Komae / AP)

A statue stands surrounded by weeds at a park in the exclusion zone in Tomioka town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, on February 26, 2021. The no-go zone sits on its northeastern corner within about 10 kilometres (6 miles) of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant where massive radioactive fallouts spewed in 2011.(Hiro Komae / AP)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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People wearing face masks due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), observe a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m. (0546 GMT), the time when the 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's coast in 2011, during a memorial service at Hibiya Park in Tokyo, Japan, on March 11, 2021, to mark the ten-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands and set off a nuclear crisis.(Issei Kato / REUTERS)

People wearing face masks due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), observe a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m. (0546 GMT), the time when the 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's coast in 2011, during a memorial service at Hibiya Park in Tokyo, Japan, on March 11, 2021, to mark the ten-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands and set off a nuclear crisis.(Issei Kato / REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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A combination photo shows wreckage in Miyako (top), a tsunami-hit northeastern Japan city pictured on March 15, 2011, and the same area (bottom) on February 19, 2021, ahead of the 10th anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami disaster.(Kyodo via REUTERS)

A combination photo shows wreckage in Miyako (top), a tsunami-hit northeastern Japan city pictured on March 15, 2011, and the same area (bottom) on February 19, 2021, ahead of the 10th anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami disaster.(Kyodo via REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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Bags of radioactive waste in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, on March 7, 2021. Laid waste by a nuclear disaster a decade ago, Japan’s Fukushima is still struggling to recover, even as the government tries to bring people and jobs back to former ghost towns by pouring in billions of dollars to decontaminate and rebuild.(Toru Hanai / Bloomberg)

Bags of radioactive waste in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, on March 7, 2021. Laid waste by a nuclear disaster a decade ago, Japan’s Fukushima is still struggling to recover, even as the government tries to bring people and jobs back to former ghost towns by pouring in billions of dollars to decontaminate and rebuild.(Toru Hanai / Bloomberg)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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A set of swings looks over a weed-covered playground of an elementary school that was used until children evacuated due to a nuclear scare following a 2011 earthquake in Futaba town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, on February 28, 2021. The school is in the area that used to be designated as the nuclear disaster exclusion zone, but the part of the zone has been lifted since March 2020.(Hiro Komae / AP)

A set of swings looks over a weed-covered playground of an elementary school that was used until children evacuated due to a nuclear scare following a 2011 earthquake in Futaba town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, on February 28, 2021. The school is in the area that used to be designated as the nuclear disaster exclusion zone, but the part of the zone has been lifted since March 2020.(Hiro Komae / AP)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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A cemetery damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, on March 8, 2021.(Toru Hanai / Bloomberg)

A cemetery damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, on March 8, 2021.(Toru Hanai / Bloomberg)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga bows in front of the altar for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at the national memorial service on the 10th anniversary of the disaster, in Tokyo, Japan on March 11, 2021.(Behrouz Mehri via REUTERS)

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga bows in front of the altar for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at the national memorial service on the 10th anniversary of the disaster, in Tokyo, Japan on March 11, 2021.(Behrouz Mehri via REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2021 04:40 PM IST
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