1-Year Anniversary of Disaster
Today, March 11, 2012, is the one-year anniversary of the earthquakes and tsunamis that destroyed part of Japan. There are many memorial services going on today. However it is devastating to hear the countless stories of people who are still dealing with the ramifications of this disaster, one year after its terror. This disaster "killed just over 19,000 people and unleashed the world's worst nuclear crisis in a quarter century." Japan was now left with dozens of costal communities in complete ruins at the wake of these earthquakes and tsunamis. In fact, "the earthquake was the strongest recorded in Japan's history, and set off a tsunami that swelled to more than 65 feet (20 meters) in some spots along the northeastern coast, destroying tens of thousands of homes and causing widespread destruction."
Although today people might be gathering in remembrance for what happened that afternoon, one year ago, this doesn't mean people are not still dealing with the burden of its legacy. "Some 325,000 people are still in temporary housing. [And] while much of the debris along the tsunami-ravaged coast has been gathered into massive piles, only 6 percent has been disposed of through incineration." People have stabilized from the disaster, but they have done little rebuilding for multiple reasons. First it took a long time to calm down from the disaster and make sure things that needed immediate attention were taken care of. Many towns are still working on reconstruction plans that have failed to be put into action yet. Even bureaucratic delays involving the national government and local towns has inhibited the speed of rebuilding.
But mourning villagers were not the only ones gathering today because of this disaster. In Tokyo, the capital of Japan, anti-nuclear demonstrations were taking place at the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company, the company who runs Fukushima nuclear plant. With slogans and beating drums, they took this day to show their distaste for what happened involving the nuclear plant one year ago. However there has been some response by the government to what happened with Fukushima one year ago. "The Japanese government has pledged to reduce reliance on nuclear power, which supplied about 30 percent of the nation's energy before the disaster, but says it needs to restart some nuclear plants during the transition period." But there is still much debate today about nuclear power and waste in Japan, which has mostly been left unresolved.