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Moment Of Silence marks Japan Quake First Anniversary [VIDEO]

 A man watches as his paper lantern, lit in commemoration of the victims of last year's earthquake and tsunami, floats away into the distance on the one year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami.
A man watches as his paper lantern, lit in commemoration of the victims of last year's earthquake and tsunami, floats away into the distance on the one year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami. (Daniel Berehulak /Getty Images)

People along Japan’s tsunami-battered northeast coast and elsewhere across the country have observed a moment of silence to mark the exact time a massive earthquake struck the nation one year ago.

The magnitude-9.0 quake on March 11, 2011, triggered a terrifying tsunami that devastated the northeastern coast, killing just over 19,000 people and unleashing a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant.

At 2:46 p.m. Sunday in the coastal town of Rikuzentakata, a siren sounded and a Buddhist priest in a purple robe rang a huge bell at a damaged temple overlooking a barren area where houses once stood.

At the same time in Tokyo’s National Theater, Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda stood in silence with hundreds of other people at a memorial service.



(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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