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Whatever happened to… the Great East Japan earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis

Click to play video 'Whatever happened to… the Great East Japan earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis' Whatever happened to… the Great East Japan earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis
WATCH ABOVE: On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake rocked parts of Japan and triggered a massive tsunami that killed almost 20,000 people and the natural disaster caused the Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima to go into meltdown. Global News reporter Erica Vella speaks with people impacted by the natural disaster and learns what has happened since – Nov 19, 2020

On this episode of the Global News podcast Whatever Happened To…?, journalist Erica Vella revisits the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear crisis that followed at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake rocked parts of Japan and triggered a massive tsunami that killed almost 20,000 people.

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Read more: Japan to release 1M tonnes of Fukushima’s contaminated water into sea, reports say

Kazuko Moghul, who lives in Ontario, said she had family in parts of Japan that were hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

“I watched the program of NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). … I realized a big earthquake and huge tsunami hit Tohoku region,” she said.

“I knew I had to contact my family right away.”

Moghul tried to get in touch with her family that day, but had no luck and in the days that followed she would learn that the earthquake and deadly waves had taken the lives of four family members.

Read more: Tears, prayers as Japan marks 5th anniversary of tsunami

The natural disaster caused the Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima to go into meltdown.

Ontario resident Dan Ayotte, an employee of General Electric, was working in the offices of the nuclear plant when the earthquake hit.

“I really didn’t think we were going get out. I thought the building was going to come down,” he said.

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While Ayotte managed to escape and make it back to his home in Peterborough, Ont., a nuclear crisis was unfolding at the Daiichi plant and concerns were raised around whether people in Canada had been exposed to unsafe levels of radiation.

Read more: Fukushima disaster produced ‘no adverse effects’ on B.C.’s coast, SFU study finds

On this episode of Whatever happened to…? Erica Vella speaks with Moghul and Ayotte; she also discovers if the nuclear disaster affected people living on Canada’s West Coast.

Contact:

Twitter: @ericavella

Email: erica.vella@globalnews.ca

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