"It began on 11 March 2011, when the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan struck off the country's eastern coast. The 9.0-magnitude quake was so forceful it shifted the Earth off its axis. It triggered a tsunami which swept over Japan's main island of Honshu, killing more than 18,000 people and wiping entire towns off the map. At the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the gigantic wave surged over coastal defences and flooded the reactors, sparking a major disaster. Authorities set up an exclusion zone which grew larger and larger as radiation leaked from the plant, forcing more than 150,000 people to evacuate from the area. More than a decade later, that zone remains in place and many residents have not returned. Authorities believe it will take up to 40 years to finish the work of decontamination, which has already cost Japan trillions of yen. The Fukushima Disaster is classified as a level seven event by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the highest such event and only the second event to meet this classification after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster."
"Fukushima disaster: What happened at the nuclear plant?," BBC News, August 23, 2023.
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