On March 11, 2011, tragedy struck Japan in the form of the Fukushima Earthquake. The magnitude 9 earthquake was responsible for taking over 15,000 lives and causing the most devastating nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Radiation from the disaster infected parts of the ocean, creating a detrimental effect on aquatic life after the incident. Today marks the decade-long anniversary of the event, with many people online and offline remembering the lives that were lost as well as the lives that were changed by this natural disaster. Different media outlets such as Reuters and The New York Times have had extensive coverage today of those who have left Fukushima for good and those who come back, year after year.
People across social media platforms shared their condolences to those who suffered from the disaster. The differences between the types of people giving their condolences are as different as the sun is to the moon.
“Japan today commemorates nearly 20,000 victims who were killed or lost in an earthquake and tsunami 10 years ago that devastated many towns, causing a nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture. Let’s commemorate the direction towards Japan. The birthplace of great Samurai warriors.” One Twitter user said.
“10 years on, the effects of the Tohoku earthquake and ensuing Fukushima nuclear disaster continue to be felt by devestated lives and communities in Japan, and are still very visible. Our thoughts today are with all those affected.” Sonic Stadium tweeted.
10 years on, the effects of the Tohoku earthquake and ensuing Fukushima nuclear disaster continue to be felt by devestated lives and communities in Japan, and are still very visible.
— Sonic Stadium ✪ Sonic the Hedgehog Community (@sonicstadium) March 11, 2021
“REMEMBERING: I was not in Japan during the events of 3/11 back in 2011, but I do remember the impact this story had in the United States. Thousands perished, thousands more remain missing, and countless others are still dealing with the aftermath of the nuclear disaster that took place in Fukushima Prefecture. As the country remembers what happened ten years ago, may we pray for the peace – the shalom – found in Christ to be known and felt across this land. This is part of the breaking news coverage of NHK World that aired that day.” Journalist Jonathan Oh posted on Facebook.
Many of the people talking about and remember Fukushima experienced the earthquakes either personally or through family and shared that experience online. Others had their own experiences to share about Fukushima itself, both before and after the earthquake.
10 years ago today, I lost track of my uncle in Japan after the Fukushima earthquake. It took a few friends with the right connections several days to get a satellite image of my uncle’s intact house in Miyagi. He was high enough up on the hillside to escape the tsunami. ????
— Ed 堀込 (@Papanekolas) March 11, 2021
Ten years ago today was the Great East Japan earthquake. I'd been living there for 3 years at the time, and the days and weeks that followed were filled with uncertainty and fear (was Fukushima going to meltdown?) but also hope and kindness
— Simon P. Clark (@sipclark) March 11, 2021
“It’s been 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. My condolences go to those who continue to grieve the loss of loved ones. I remember going to J Village in Fukushima for Soccer Camps when I was in Japan.” One user tweeted.
It's been 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
My condolences go to those who continue to grieve the loss of loved ones.
I remember going to J Village in Fukushima for Soccer Camps when I was in Japan. #東日本大震災10年 #jヴィレッジ#東日本大地震 pic.twitter.com/kDwHW0LBE6
— ソルベニ SOL BENI@トルシエ (@sol_beni_3_4_3) March 11, 2021
“We visited Fukushima 5 years ago. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited.” One user tweeted.
“The next day after 3/11 we were told to Evacuate or go to a fallout shelter. The Fukushima powerplant was about to meltdown. So we booked a emergency flight to the philippines. I was only 5 years old when i saw japan under water.” One user tweeted.
Amongst those giving the survivors of Fukushima their condolences, there also were people who used today to talk about their positives experiences with Japan and the Asian community in general- something Americans particularly need to hear given the rise of hate crimes against Asians since the advent of Covid19.
Along with those giving their condolences there also renewed discussions on the safeness of nuclear power plants with a growing number of skeptics believing that nuclear energy may be a far more dangerous factor than most people believe, particularly given the lack of safety measures causing the Nuclear portion of the disaster.
Thinking again this morning of the friends we lost in the tsunami ten years ago today, and of all the awful choices and sacrifices that the people of Fukushima had to make (and are still having to make) as a result of the nuclear meltdown and criminal irresponsibility of TEPCO.
— Michael Bourdaghs (@sayonaraamerika) March 11, 2021
“10 years since the #Fukushima disaster and it’s more clear than ever that nuclear energy is not a “clean” alternative to fossil fuels.” Another Twitter user said.
— Molly McGinty (@mollymmcginty) March 11, 2021
To everybody talking about Fukushima, whether they experienced the event personally, are anti or pro-nuclear, or just want to give their condolences, it is clear the tragedy continues to dawn on people across the with no evening insight.