By Mirembe Martina
Japan two years today was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake which sparked a tsunami. Today, the country is remembering the tragedy which killed many and put the lives of many in danger.
To mark the day, Tokyo Japan has observed a moment of silence. Around 19,000 people died in the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck the country in 2011.
Services were held in the three worst-hit prefectures and a minute’s silence was observed at 14:46 (05:46 GMT), when the quake hit. The quake caused the Fukushima nuclear crisis which has seen most of the country’s nuclear reactors turned off. Yesterday, thousands of people marched in Tokyo urging an end to the use of nuclear power. Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors were shut down for checks after the earthquake and only two have since been turned on again.
About 160,000 people had to be evacuated when meltdowns occurred at three reactors after tsunami waters knocked out cooling systems.
“Japan will never experience a true spring if spring does not come to north-eastern Japan. I promise never to forget the weight of each day and promise to speed up the reconstruction of the region,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was elected in December said.
He and the Imperial couple, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, attended a memorial service in Tokyo, where they observed the silence. According to an official tally, 15,881 people died in the disaster and 2,668 others remain unaccounted for.
The earthquake was the strongest recorded in Japan’s history.