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17 March 2011updated 07 Sep 2021 6:21pm

Japan’s earthquake and tsunami on video: the first few moments

Fukushima explained, the moment the earthquake struck and more astonishing footage of the Japanese t

By Duncan Robinson, Liam McLaughlin and Francisco Perez

The growing hysteria surrounding the Fukushima nuclear power station and its overheating reactors has overshadowed the natural causes of Japan’s catastrophe. The video below, however, reminds us what happened without resorting to disaster porn.

It shows the moment the earthquake struck and the reactions of Japan’s six main television channels on a split screen. The earthquake begins one minute in, with HNK – the Japanese state-owned news channel, in the top left-hand corner – being the first to cut to it.

Further on in the video, a map of Japan appears on each channel, flashing a tsunami warning on the country’s eastern coast. It’s compelling in a wholly different way from the images of entire towns being swept away.

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In this video, a nice nerd called Hank explains exactly what is going at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. His explanation moves from a synopsis of how nuclear fission occurs to why some of the reactors exploded.

With so much footage of the original tsunami available, shocking videos are ten a penny. This one, however, still astonishes.

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