Japan: One year after Fukushima nuclear disaster, 4 repercussions

At 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck underwater some 80 miles from the coast of Sendai, Japan. One of the largest recorded earthquakes, it's been called the Great East Japan Earthquake or the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. The ensuing tsunami triggered powerful waves that reached up to 133 feet high and traveled about six miles inland, destroying homes, roads, and other buildings. One year later, progress has been made, but much more remains to be done. Here are where 4 key areas stand one year later. 

1.The human toll

Japanese living in Switzerland hold a ceremony to commemorate the victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, in the Japanese embassy in Bern March 9, 2012. (Michael Buholzer/Reuters)

Confirmed dead: 15,845 

Missing: 3,375

Injured: 5,710

On the six-month anniversary of the earthquake, more than 2,200 people traveled to attend a memorial service in Minami-Sanriku's Bayside Arena. "We pray for the lost lives and for the missing to be found as early as possible. We hope that people can return to this town and we can hear cheerful voices again," said Jin Sato, the mayor of Minami-Sanriku, at the service, the Monitor reported. His voice faltered as he spoke about the many friends and colleagues who were lost.

Displaced: temporary housing, public shelters

Displaced in March 2011: 475,000

People still living in temporary housing in March 2012: 337,819

People in public shelters: 9,900

Prefab houses completed in hardest hit prefectures: 52,707

Garbage: tons removed, tons remain

A stray cat lies on a road in front of the debris of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami on Tashirojima island, known as 'Cats island,' off Ishinomaki city, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Friday, March 9, 2012, two day before the anniversary of the disaster. (Itsuo Inouye/AP)

Tons of rubble created by the disaster: 22.6 - 25

Estimated tons removed one year later: 70 percent (estimated)

In the wake of the tsunami, mountains of trash were left behind, more trash than towns would normally dispose of in a century, the Monitor reported last year. Recycling it all is a daunting task. No country has ever faced such a mammoth recycling job. First step: clearing the rubbish from the streets to makeshift waste centers. Next step: recycling centers.

The financial toll

A Japanese Red Cross official walks through temporary houses for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Ishinomaki city, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, March 9, 2012, two days before the anniversary of the disaster. (Itsuo Inouye/AP)

Estimated reconstruction cost: $300 billion ($247 billion to be allocated within five years)

Donations from international sources to the Japan Red Cross Society: $4 billion

($4.5 billion has been transferred to 15 prefectures from JRCS to assist disaster survivors with cash grants, with $3.84 billion of that to be distributed to beneficiaries of those killed by the disaster.)

The storm also battered Japan's industries, further damaging its manufacturing base as many electronic and car factories move overseas. Still, a strong yen is sending firms on an international buying spree, wrote Monitor correspondent Gavin Blair this year.