Japan on Saturday marked the sixth anniversary of the deadly earthquake and tsunami that claimed over 18,000 lives, besides provoking a serious nuclear accident. On March 11, 2011 a quake measuring 9 on the Richter scale, and a subsequent tsunami swept the region of Tohoku, inflicting serious damage upon the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Efe news reported.
Across the country, but above all in the regions worst-affected by the tragedy, several events are planned to pay homage to the victims. A minute of silence will be observed at 2.46 p.m., to mark the exact time the disaster struck.
In many places, the tsunami siren will be rung at the same time, to recall the moment of the quake – with its epicentre near the province of Miyagi – which triggered the gigantic waves of up to 20 metres high.
The main commemoration ceremony is set to be held at the Tokyo National Theatre and will be presided by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Those expected to participate include family members of victims from the three worst-affected provinces in the country – Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate.
As of today, 123,000 people from these provinces remain displaced as a result of the tsunami; 40,000 of these have not returned home due to high radiation levels in the area surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.