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Japan

Fukushima Disaster A Decade Later: This Happened, March 11

One of the most striking photographs of the destruction caused by the tsunami that struck Japan and set off the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

Fukushima Disaster A Decade Later: This Happened, March 11

Today marks 10 years since an earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated Fukushima in Japan, killing 18,000 people, destroying towns and triggering the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

At 2:46 pm, the strongest Japanese earthquake ever recorded struck off the northern coast and created monstrous waves up to 16 meters high. On detecting the earthquake, the active reactors automatically shut down, which sparked the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, at the time one of the largest nuclear power plants in the world. The explosions of the reactors released large quantities of radiation that contaminated a vast area of northern Japan.

A decade later, the deep scar left by the disaster is still visible. While the Japanese government has spent about $300 billion to rebuild the region, some areas still remain inaccessible due to radioactivity and some 40,000 people are still displaced. The government is also still working on decommissioning the wrecked plant and decontaminating water and waste — a daunting task which officials say will take another 30 to 40 years.

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Image of a group of police officers, in uniform, on their motorbikes in the street.

Police officers from the Memphis Police Department, in Memphis, USA.

Ian T. Adams and Seth W. Stoughton

The officers charged in the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols were not your everyday uniformed patrol officers.

Rather, they were part of an elite squad: Memphis Police Department’s SCORPION team. A rather tortured acronym for “Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods,” SCORPION is a crime suppression unit – that is, officers detailed specifically to prevent, detect and interrupt violent crime by proactively using stops, frisks, searches and arrests. Such specialized units are common in forces across the U.S. and tend to rely on aggressive policing tactics.

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