The Record of a Total Power Loss

First Five Days at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

Authored by: Hajime Ozaki

The Routledge Companion To Media and Humanitarian Action

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138688575
eBook ISBN: 9781315538129
Adobe ISBN:


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On Friday March 11, 2011, an undersea megathrust earthquake of magnitude 9.0 hit the east coast of Japan. The earthquake moved Honshu, the main island of the country, about 8 feet east, and shifted the earth on its axis about 4 inches. It was the biggest earthquake ever to hit the country, and the fourth largest earthquake recorded on the globe since modern record keeping. Images of the tsunami’s destruction as it hit Japan’s north-east coastline constitute a set of disturbing and stunning visual documents that circulated rapidly around the globe. The earthquake caused level 7 meltdowns at three nuclear reactors within the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex and evacuation zones affected hundreds of thousands of people. By 2015, the Japanese Police Agency confirmed about 18,500 dead or missing and thousands more injured in the worst humanitarian disaster since WWII in the country.The Record of a Total Power Loss”: First Five Days at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant by Hajime Ozaki, is a first-hand account that documents the experience in real time in diary format. It adds a layer of complexity rarely found in the record of humanitarian journalism.

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