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The Blurry Truth: Japan Tsunami

On March 11, 2011, a tragedy struck Japan that will never be forgotten. Ocean ridges and mountain ranges below the surface of the ocean caused the waves created by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan. These two factors together caused a deathly Tsunami that Japan is still struggling to recover from. The earthquake and tsunami together killed 15,840 people and set off a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Six million households, more than 10% of the total in Japan, were without electricity. In Tokyo, rail service was suspended overnight, elevated highways were shut down and streets remained jammed as commuters who spent the night in shelters fought to get to their homes. To make matters worse, the terrifying natural disaster had sparked a human-caused crisis, as radiation leaks from crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Three of the plant's six reactors overheated and their fuel melted down causing hydrogen explosions to blow the tops off three reactor buildings, which lead to a major leak of radiation at levels not seen since Chernobyl in 1986. The authorities hugely underestimated the risks tsunamis posted to the plant. Tokyo Electric had assumed that no wave would reach more than about 20 feet, but little did they know the tsunami would hit more than twice that height. Also, the workers left at Fukushima Daiichi had not been trained to handle multiple failures, causing them to panic. A communication breakdown meant that workers at the plant had no clear sense of what was happening (Tabuchi web). Japan had been scanning for radiation exposure by medical teams because of the risk when radioactive iodine enters the body and settle in the thyroid. Children are especially vulnerable. Thousands of citizens were forced into radiation screenings before they could get help at a shelter or even return to their homes. The Japan tsunami crisis not only destroyed one of Japan’s...
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