Japan raced to avert a nuclear meltdown yesterday (March 12) by flooding a nuclear reactor with seawater after Friday’s massive earthquake left more than 600 people dead and thousands more missing. Towns in the country’s northeast coast were literally wiped away by an ensuing tsunami, leaving countless people seeking shelter in the aftermath of the quake, which measured 8.9 on the Richter scale and was the country’s strongest recorded quake.
An oncoming tsunami strikes the coast in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan March 11, 2011. The biggest earthquake to hit Japan in 140 years struck the northeast coast on Friday, triggering a 10-metre tsunami that swept away everything in its path, including houses, cars and farm buildings on fire.
Workers inspect a caved-in section of a prefectural road in Satte, Saitama Prefecture, after one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in Japan slammed its eastern coast March 11. (Saitama Shimbun/Associated Press/Kyodo News).
Vehicles are crushed by a collapsed wall at a carpark in Mito city in Ibaraki prefecture on March 11. (Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images).
A fishing boat rests surrounded by debri in the city of Kamaishi in Iwate prefecture on March 12. (Yomiuri Shimbun/AFP/Getty Images)
Japanese soldiers make their way atop a wall to get around vehicles swept by a tsunami at Kesennnuma, northeastern Japan March 12. (Kyodo News/Associated Press)
A vessel sits after it was washed away by tsunami into urban area in Kesennuma, Miyagi, northern Japan March 12. (Kyodo News/Associated Press)
Cargo containers are strewn about in Sendai Japan March 12. Japan launched a massive military rescue operation Saturday after a giant, earthquake-fed tsunami killed hundreds of people and turned the northeastern coast into a swampy wasteland, while authorities braced for a possible meltdown at a nuclear reactor. (Itsuo Inouye/Asociated Press)
A volunteer firefighter searches for victims of the tsunami at Rikuzentakada, Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan March 13. (Shizuo Kambayashi/Associated Press)
Vessels washed away by the tsunami sit on land in Minami Soma, Fukushima, northern Japan March 12. (Kyodo News/Associated Press)
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