The magnitude 9.0 earthquake and the resultant tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 had devastating effects across the nation. The Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Fukushima power plant took a heavy blow and while the company struggles to control the stricken facility, it released new images showing the plant as it was hit by the tsunami.
The tsunami that was generated by the massive temblor reached heights in excess of 30 feet in some places along the northeastern Japanese coastline. The images released by TEPCO show massive waves approaching the nuclear facility and eventually submerging it in water.
- In pictures: Tsunami strikes Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant
- Video: Extensive damage from within Japan’s stricken nuclear power plant
Extensive damage to the Fukushima power plant was realized and more than two months later radiation continues to leak from the facility. While the company has continued to maintain it will have the reactors under control by January, the situation is far from certain.
Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said today, “It is a very serious accident and it still continues.”
- Slideshow: Satellite imagery of Japan before and after the tsunami
Today workers entered the last of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns as a result of the disaster. Video from the company shows extensive damage with walls ripped off of buildings and debris strewn about the area. Workers continue to be exposed to unsafe levels of radiation but perform their work heroically in their attempts to ease the emergency.
The earthquake was the fourth largest quake in the globe since 1900. Entire towns were wiped off the map by the tsunami and more than 91,000 structures were totally destroyed with another 260,000 realizing at least some damage.
An astounding loss of life from the dual disasters was realized with thousands of people still unaccounted for. The latest death toll from the National Police Agency of Japan stands at 15,129 with another 9,034 people missing. The numbers place the quake as Japan’s fifth deadliest in history and may push it up to the number four spot once a final determination of the status of those missing is reached.
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