Monday, March 12, 2012

Japan Marks One Year Since Earthquake/Tsunami

Sunday, March 11, 2012 marked the one year anniversary of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Tokyo, Japan that left 16,000 dead and 3,000 missing.

On 2:46pm, local time, residents of Japan congregated at a shrine in a downtown theater to bow their heads in silence, many praying with tears streaming down their faces.

At the main event, the Prime Minister made his remarks infront of grieving patriots with the emperor in attendance, recovering from surgery:

"A lot of lives were lost ... I feel the grieving families' pain and I cannot express my sorrow enough."

Those loved and lost were honored, many said to be firefighters.

"On the surface, it is business as usual," said Nicky Washida, a British expatriate who's lived in Japan for 10 years. "We wake up, we go to work, we shop for dinner. We drink, we laugh, we care for our children. But running underneath the veneer of normality is the constant reminder that life has changed."

The event also marked the world's worst nuclear crisis in a quarter century, as a nuclear facitility was knocked offline, leading toward a meltdown chain of three reactors leaking chemical fumes into the air and contaminating water in the ocean.

Even one year later, Japan is far from the clear, with 100,000 individuals still displaced from their homes. But, they remain optimistic that they will overcome.

To read CNN's article on Japan's earthquake, visit this link.

To learn more about the 21st century's worst disasters, read Tectonic Shifts: Haiti Since the Earthquake and Dual Disasters: Humanitarian Aid After the 2004 Tsunami.

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