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This Happened

This Happened - March 11: Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Meltdown In Japan

One of the deadliest earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan occurred on this day in 2011. Following the natural disaster, a nuclear accident occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

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What caused the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan?

The earthquake was caused by the movement of tectonic plates beneath the earth's surface, specifically the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. The resulting tsunami was triggered by the earthquake, which caused large waves to form and hit the coast of Japan.

How many people were killed in Japan’s earthquake and tsunami?

A total of 15,889 people were confirmed dead and over 2,500 people went missing, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in Japan's history.

What was the Fukushima nuclear disaster?

The disaster resulted in a meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s nuclear reactors, causing radioactive materials to be released into the surrounding environment.

How did the Fukushima nuclear disaster impact the rest of the world?

The Fukushima nuclear disaster had significant environmental, health, and economic impacts in Japan and the rest of the world. The disaster led to the displacement of thousands of people and had a major impact on the local fishing industry. It also raised concerns about the safety of nuclear power and led to a global debate about the future of nuclear energy.

How did Japan react to Fukushima?

In the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, Japan has taken a number of measures to address the environmental, health, and economic impacts of the disaster. These include decontamination efforts, compensation for victims, and efforts to improve the safety and regulation of nuclear power plants. The Japanese government has also invested in renewable energy sources and efforts to reduce the country's reliance on nuclear power.

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Not Just Paris! Mongolia Is Also Battling Bedbugs (And Cockroaches... And Centipedes...)

Public extermination services were halted during the pandemic. Residents have embraced cheaper DIY solutions — but there are risks.

Photo of a bed bug

A bed bug photographed in the Biology Institute at the Technical University (TU) in Dresden, Germany

Khorloo Khukhnokhoi

ERDENET, ORKHON PROVINCE, MONGOLIA — Oyuka dresses for domestic battle. Mask. Gloves. Hair shrouded under a black hood. A disposable white gown reminiscent of a surgeon. It’s 2 p.m. on a Tuesday; her husband is at work and their two young children are at school. She shoves the oven, freezer and washing machine away from the kitchen walls and grabs a lime-green spray can from behind the bathtub, where it’s out of the children’s reach. “Magic Cleaner,” the bottle says in Chinese. A pesticide.

Oyuka — who asked to be referred to only by her nickname, out of fear of being criticized by her neighbors — lives on the eighth floor of a 10-story building in Erdenet, Mongolia’s second-largest city, where towering apartments cram together like subway riders. Lots of people means lots of trash, which means lots and lots of bugs. Cockroaches. Bedbugs. Centipedes. And what Mongolians call black bugs, speck-like insects that Oyuka fears will bite her children and make them sick.

Over the past year, Oyuka started noticing them in corners, under furniture, on windowsills. She increased how often she sprayed Magic Cleaner, from occasionally to every three months — even though the smell makes her stomach lurch. “Because I don’t know any other good poison, I use this poison often,” she says.

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