Written by Staff Writer
11 Mar, 2016 | 11:35 am
Japan is marking the fifth anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that left more than 18,000 dead or missing.
A minute’s silence will be held across Japan at 2:46pm (5:46 GMT), the time the quake hit.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Emperor Akihito will offer flowers at a memorial ceremony in Tokyo.
The magnitude-9.0 quake struck offshore, creating a vast water surge that devastated Japan’s north-east.
It also triggered the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986, after the tsunami knocked out power to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, taking cooling systems offline, which set off a series of meltdowns.
The subsequent disaster spewed radiation over a wide area and forced the evacuation of more than 160,000 local people. Most of them have not been able to return to their homes, despite extensive decontamination work.
After the nuclear disaster all nuclear power plants were ordered offline, and only a few have since been restarted. The tragedy will also be marked by anti-nuclear protests with many Japanese left with a lingering distrust of nuclear power.
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