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Another earthquake shakes Japan, Fukushima evacuated: a nuclear timeline

A month after the March 11, a 9.0 earthquake triggered a 30-foot tsunami that damaged several nuclear reactors in northeastern Japan, causing the country's worst crisis since World War II, a 7.4 temblor shook the country again.

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Day 19 - Tuesday, March 29

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  • Focus remains on Unit 2, where workers are attempting to contain a possible water leak.
  • Officials say plutonium found in the soil near the plant could mean the reactors experienced a partial meltdown.

Day 20 - Wednesday, March 30

  • Tepco announces it will decommission four of the six nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi
  • Radioactive water in and around reactor buildings is delaying cooling efforts.
  • Japan's nuclear safety agency says the radioactive iodine at 3,355 times the legal limit does not pose a health threat.

Week 4
Day 22, Friday, April 1

  • Researchers say that the tsunami reached as high as 29.6 meters in Ofunato City, Iwate. It was previously thought the highest wave reached only to 20 meters.
  • The Nuclear safety agency says radioactive material 4,385 times the legal limit has been found in sea water near the plant.

Day 23, Saturday, April 2

Day 24, Sunday, April 3

  • Tepco begins dumping radioactive water from the Fukushima site into the sea in order to make it easier to cool the plants.

Day 25, Monday, April 4

  • Tepco said some 11,500 tons of contaminated water would be released today in order to make room for more radioactive water storage.
  • Authorities say they have still not found the source of a leak they believe is responsible for highly contaminated water levels near Fukushima.

Day 26, Tuesday, April 5

  • Tepco is pumping millions of gallons of radioactive water into the sea.
  • Levels of radioactive contamination in fish are exceeding health guidelines for the first time.
  • Tepco says it has slowed the flow of contaminated water leaking into the sea from the No. 2 reactor.

Day 27, Wednesday, April 6

  • Officials say they have stopped the leaking radioactive water, measured at 7.5 million times the legal limit, from reactor No. 2 into the ocean.
  • Tepco is now concerned about a build-up of hydrogen inside reactor No. 1, which may the reactor's core could be damaged.
  • Japan's official spokesperson, Yukio Edano apologized to neighboring countries for not notifying them before they started pumping low-level radioactive water this weekend into the ocean.

Day 28, Thursday, April 7

  • A 7.4 aftershock hits Japan's northeast coast near Sendai at 11:32 p.m. local time.
  • Tepco temporarily evacuates Fukushima
  • Power is disrupted at Onagawa nuclear power plant, 75 miles northeast of Fukushima.

Some key numbers as of Friday, April 1:

  • Death toll: 11,600
  • Unaccounted for: at least 16,450
  • Displaced: about 500,000
  • Buildings damaged or destroyed: more than 155,000
  • International Search and Rescue specialists on the ground according to OCHA: 543 (14 teams) from 12 countries.
  • Countries that have pledged assistance to Japan: more than 130
  • Estimated damage cost: $309 billion
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