Powerful quake hits Japan, Fukushima residents urged to flee tsunami

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TOKYO (Reuters) - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 hit northern Japan on Tuesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, generating a tsunami that hit the nation's northern Pacific coast.

The earthquake, which was felt in Tokyo, was centered off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of about 10 km (6 miles) and struck at 5:59 a.m. (2059 GMT) the agency said.

A 60 cm (2 foot) tsunami had been observed at Fukushima's Onahama Port and a 90 cm (3 foot) tsunami at Soma soon after, public broadcaster NHK said. The region is the same that was devastated by a tsunami following a massive earthquake in 2011.

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Japan struck by major earthquake
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Japan struck by major earthquake

People keep a lookout at the mouth of a river after tsunami advisories triggered by an earthquake were issued, in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo November 22, 2016.

(Kyodo/via REUTERS)

A traffic jam is seen as people evacuate after tsunami advisories were issued following an earthquake, in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo November 22, 2016. 

(Kyodo Kyodo/via REUTERS)

Local residents look out to sea from higher ground after evacuating their homes following an 6.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami alert in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, on November 22, 2016. A powerful 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit northeastern Japan on November 22, triggering tsunamis along the coast including a 3.3-foot wave that crashed ashore at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.

(JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

Replay on NHK just now showed shaking from todays quake in Japan. https://t.co/RFfxzcRS8X

Japan Meteorological Agency's earthquake and volcano observations division director Koji Nakamura addresses a news conference next to the map showing an earthquake epicentre off the coast of Fukushima prefecture, in Tokyo, Japan November 22, 2016.

(REUTERS/Toru Hanai0

Firefighters and local residents look toward the port to check the water level after tsunami advisories were issued following an earthquake in Soma, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo November 22, 2016.

(Mandatory credit Kyodo Kyodo/via REUTERS)

LISTEN: Tsunami warning sirens sound in Japan after 6.9-magnitude #earthquake https://t.co/ib6KTzcMkN https://t.co/jzZa0DwHBA

Japan Meteorological Agency's earthquake and volcano observations division director Koji Nakamura points at a map showing earthquake information during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan November 22, 2016.

(REUTERS/Toru Hanai)

Powerful earthquake strikes off the coast of Japan https://t.co/kJx3EIemwf https://t.co/1ikobwN9PF
JUST IN: The Japan Meteorological Agency says a tsunami has been observed offshore after a major earthquake hit… https://t.co/Au7iuGkRXO
UPDATE: USGS has revised magnitude of earthquake off of Japan's coast to 6.9 https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp https://t.co/IZVCCyi9N5
Breaking news in Japan: — 7.3 quake — Epicentre is near Fukushima — Tsunami warnings are in place https://t.co/mvUj56kV8y
#LATEST: Sirens wail as tsunami approaches Fukushima. #Japan https://t.co/zVVCPnE9Ro https://t.co/w0dYFEQzux
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A tsunami warning of up to 3 meters (10 feet) has been issued.

One woman suffered cuts to her head from falling dishes, Kyodo news agency reported, citing fire department officials.

Tokyo Electric Power Co, known as Tepco, said on its website that no damage from the quake has been confirmed at any of its power plants, although there have been blackouts in some areas. Tepco's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant caused Japan's worst nuclear disaster when it was knocked out by the 2011 tsunami.

Tohoku Electric Power Co said there was no damage to its Onagawa nuclear plant, while the Kyodo news agency reported there was no irregularities at the Tokai Daini nuclear plant in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Television footage showed ships moving out to sea from Fukushima harbors as tsunami warning signals wailed.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

The March 11, 2011, quake was magnitude 9, the strongest quake in Japan on record. The massive tsunami it triggered caused world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier.

An Iwaki city fire dept official said there was smoke or fire at Kureha's research center in a petrochemical complex in Iwaki city at 6:17 a.m., but it was extinguished at 6:40 a.m. Other details were not clear, he said, adding that no other major damage in the city has been reported at the moment.

One hotel in Ofunato, badly hit by the 2011 quake, told guests to stay in the facility, which is on high ground.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially put Tuesday's quake at a magnitude of 7.3 but down graded it to 6.9.

All nuclear plants on the coast threatened by the tsunami are shutdown in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Only two reactors are operating in Japan, both in the southwest of the country. Even when in shutdown nuclear plants need cooling systems operating to keep spent fuel cool.

(Writing by William Mallard; Additional reporting by Yuka Obayashi, Chris Gallagher, Jon Herskovitz and Aaron Sheldrick; Editing Richard Balmforth and Lincoln Feast)

Related: Fukushima plant workers 5 years after earthquake, tsunami

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Fukushima plant workers 5 years after earthquake/tsunami
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Fukushima plant workers 5 years after earthquake/tsunami
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 25: Employees work on the construction of the 'Ice Wall' which will use coolants to create a 30 metre deepl wall of ice to prevent groundwater from leaking into the reactors at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on February 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 25: A general view of Reactors 5 and 6 as workers continue the decontamination and decommissioning process at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on February 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 25: (Editors Note: This image has been digitally altered to protect employee privacy rights) Workers continue the decontamination and reconstruction process at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on February 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 25: A radiation monitor sits outside the anti-seismic building as the decontamination process continues at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on February 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 25: TEPCO employees show a member of the media the decontamination and decommissioning process at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on February 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 24: Workers work on new radiation contaminated water tanks at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Five years on, the decontamination and decommissioning process at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant continues on February 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 24: Workers continue the decontamination and reconstruction process at the base of the reactors at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on February 24, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 24: TEPCO employees work at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Five years on, the decontamination and decommissioning process at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant continues on February 25, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 24: Workers are scanned for radiation exposure after returning from working outside at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on February 24, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 24: Workers get changed into their protective clothing inside the anti-seismic building before working on the radiation decontamination process at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on February 24, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Masaya Uehara of Kajima Corporation poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Uehara of Kajima Corporation works on the project to build the ice wall that blocks the groundwater flow from the mountain side into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Uehara says It is disappointing when some people have negative opinions about his job, but at the same time it is encouraging and makes him want to prove them wrong. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Kentaro Saga of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Saga works on the ice wall project at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Saga says that he feels a big responsibility working on the ice wall to control the groundwater flow, because no one has done it before, and it cannot fail. Prior to the ice wall project, Saga also led the project to build a gas turbine power plant that substitutes Fukushima Daiichi's electricity production in such short period as three years. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Kei Kobayashi of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Kobayashi works on the water purification system at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Kobayashi says the whole experience has been rewarding as he learns something new every day. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Hideaki Tokuma of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Tokuma manages the contaminated water tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Tokuma says he feels his job is challenging and rewarding. Tokuma says there is no routine work and every issue is new, and it is as though finding a way, laying the railway and operating a train all on his own. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Eiji Sakata of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Sakata works in the team that oversees the overall safety control in construction sites in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Sakata says the safety control in Fukushima Daiichi is more difficult than other places as they have to memorize everything as they cannot freely take the documents in and out of the site, and the verbal communication is harder as the workers are always wearing masks. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Yusuke Nakagawa of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Nakagawa works in the team that operates the robotics used to de-contaminate in the reactor buildings. Nakagawa says he wants to contribute to the recovery of Fukushima, and de-contaminating the reactors is the crucial task needed to proceed the reactor decommission, the most important issue of Fukushima Daiichi. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Akira Ono, the Fukuhima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Chief of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Ono says he takes pride in his work. His job is very difficult but his team works hard towards the decommission of the reactors for the recovery of Fukushima, and works safely not to worry the society and people in Fukushima. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Hideaki Tokuma of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Tokuma manages the contaminated water tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Tokuma says he feels his job is challenging and rewarding. Tokuma says there is no routine work and every issue is new, and it is as though finding a way, laying the railway and operating a train all on his own. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Hideaki Tokuma of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Tokuma manages the contaminated water tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Tokuma says he feels his job is challenging and rewarding. Tokuma says there is no routine work and every issue is new, and it is as though finding a way, laying the railway and operating a train all on his own. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Yusuke Nakagawa of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Nakagawa works in the team that operates the robotics used to de-contaminate in the reactor buildings. Nakagawa says he wants to contribute to the recovery of Fukushima, and de-contaminating the reactors is the crucial task needed to proceed the reactor decommission, the most important issue of Fukushima Daiichi. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Isao Abe of Kajima Corporation poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Abe works on the ice walls to block the groundwater flow from the sides into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Ever since the disaster happened, his colleagues in his team was assigned to work in the Fukushima Daiichi, so Abe knew that his turn would come soon or later. Abe feels it is such an important job. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Shinichi Koga of Kajima Corporation poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Koga works on the project to build the ice wall that blocks the groundwater flow from the ocean side into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Koga says that the difficult part of his jobs is the environment where he has to wear these protective gears, and there are many restrictions and his tasks require him to ask for permissions from the regulation authorities to proceed. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Yusuke Nakagawa of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Nakagawa works in the team that operates the robotics used to de-contaminate in the reactor buildings. Nakagawa says he wants to contribute to the recovery of Fukushima, and de-contaminating the reactors is the crucial task needed to proceed the reactor decommission, the most important issue of Fukushima Daiichi. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Masaya Uehara of Kajima Corporation poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Uehara of Kajima Corporation works on the project to build the ice wall that blocks the groundwater flow from the mountain side into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Uehara says It is disappointing when some people have negative opinions about his job, but at the same time it is encouraging and makes him want to prove them wrong. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Yusuke Nakagawa of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Nakagawa works in the team that operates the robotics used to de-contaminate in the reactor buildings. Nakagawa says he wants to contribute to the recovery of Fukushima, and de-contaminating the reactors is the crucial task needed to proceed the reactor decommission, the most important issue of Fukushima Daiichi. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Shuji Hoshi of Toshiba poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Hoshi works on the operation side of the water purification system at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Hoshi says the support of family has been really important as he lives away from home. His motivation is to stabilize the operation rate, in order not to release the contaminated water. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Masaya Uehara of Kajima Corporation poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Uehara of Kajima Corporation works on the project to build the ice wall that blocks the groundwater flow from the mountain side into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Uehara says It is disappointing when some people have negative opinions about his job, but at the same time it is encouraging and makes him want to prove them wrong. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Kentaro Saga of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Saga works on the ice wall project at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Saga says that he feels a big responsibility working on the ice wall to control the groundwater flow, because no one has done it before, and it cannot fail. Prior to the ice wall project, Saga also led the project to build a gas turbine power plant that substitutes Fukushima Daiichi's electricity production in such short period as three years. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Masahiro Ito of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Ito works for the trouble shooting unit and reports what happens at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant to the government, local government, and local people. Ito tries to communicate with accuracy and speed, and wishes the local people can come back safely to their home as early as possible. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Shinichi Koga of Kajima Corporation poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Koga works on the project to build the ice wall that blocks the groundwater flow from the ocean side into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Koga says that the difficult part of his jobs is the environment where he has to wear these protective gears, and there are many restrictions and his tasks require him to ask for permissions from the regulation authorities to proceed. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Shuji Hoshi of Toshiba poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Hoshi works on the operation side of the water purification system at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Hoshi says the support of family has been really important as he lives away from home. His motivation is to stabilize the operation rate, in order not to release the contaminated water. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Kei Kobayashi of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Kobayashi works on the water purification system at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Kobayashi says the whole experience has been rewarding as he learns something new every day. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Yasushi Ooishi of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Ooishi works in the team to handle the contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclea Power Plant. Oishi says decommission is something his people must do and only his people can do. Oishi wishes the process was quicker, but there are obstacles and his teams cannot do everything as they wish when cooperating with the government officials and local communities. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Eiji Sakata of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Sakata works in the team that oversees the overall safety control in construction sites in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Sakata says the safety control in Fukushima Daiichi is more difficult than other places as they have to memorize everything as they cannot freely take the documents in and out of the site, and the verbal communication is harder as the workers are always wearing masks. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Mitsuyoshi Sato of Toshiba poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Sato works in the team that operates the vacuum-cleaner-like robots that de-contaminate the reactor No. 2 and No. 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Sato has been working in Fukushima for five years as he voluntarily offered to move to Fukushima to do research on water purification five months after the accident, and once that project is settled, again offered to continue in the decontamination project. Sato says he is too busy to think about the meaning of his job, and he has other things that he wants to work on as a researcher, but he feels his job is something that has to be done now. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Yasushi Ooishi of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Ooishi works in the team to handle the contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclea Power Plant. Oishi says decommission is something his people must do and only his people can do. Oishi wishes the process was quicker, but there are obstacles and his teams cannot do everything as they wish when cooperating with the government officials and local communities. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Kenji Shimizu of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Shimizu is the onsite supervisor for the robotics project to investigate the containment vessels to locate the fuel debris in the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Shimizu says they make sure to work in the safe environment, so he rarely feels any danger working at the Fukushima Daiichi, but feels it is difficult for people to understand. He feels they need to continue making progress safely. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Akira Ono, the Fukuhima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Chief of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Ono says he takes pride in his work. His job is very difficult but his team works hard towards the decommission of the reactors for the recovery of Fukushima, and works safely not to worry the society and people in Fukushima. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Hideaki Tokuma of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Tokuma manages the contaminated water tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Tokuma says he feels his job is challenging and rewarding. Tokuma says there is no routine work and every issue is new, and it is as though finding a way, laying the railway and operating a train all on his own. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Shuji Hoshi of Toshiba poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Hoshi works on the operation side of the water purification system at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Hoshi says the support of family has been really important as he lives away from home. His motivation is to stabilize the operation rate, in order not to release the contaminated water. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Eiji Sakata of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Sakata works in the team that oversees the overall safety control in construction sites in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Sakata says the safety control in Fukushima Daiichi is more difficult than other places as they have to memorize everything as they cannot freely take the documents in and out of the site, and the verbal communication is harder as the workers are always wearing masks. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Kenji Shimizu of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Shimizu is the onsite supervisor for the robotics project to investigate the containment vessels to locate the fuel debris in the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Shimizu says they make sure to work in the safe environment, so he rarely feels any danger working at the Fukushima Daiichi, but feels it is difficult for people to understand. He feels they need to continue making progress safely. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Akira Ono, the Fukuhima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Chief of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Ono says he takes pride in his work. His job is very difficult but his team works hard towards the decommission of the reactors for the recovery of Fukushima, and works safely not to worry the society and people in Fukushima. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Isao Abe of Kajima Corporation poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Abe works on the ice walls to block the groundwater flow from the sides into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Ever since the disaster happened, his colleagues in his team was assigned to work in the Fukushima Daiichi, so Abe knew that his turn would come soon or later. Abe feels it is such an important job. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Kenji Shimizu of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Shimizu is the onsite supervisor for the robotics project to investigate the containment vessels to locate the fuel debris in the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Shimizu says they make sure to work in the safe environment, so he rarely feels any danger working at the Fukushima Daiichi, but feels it is difficult for people to understand. He feels they need to continue making progress safely. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Eiji Sakata of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Sakata works in the team that oversees the overall safety control in construction sites in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Sakata says the safety control in Fukushima Daiichi is more difficult than other places as they have to memorize everything as they cannot freely take the documents in and out of the site, and the verbal communication is harder as the workers are always wearing masks. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Shinichi Koga of Kajima Corporation poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Koga works on the project to build the ice wall that blocks the groundwater flow from the ocean side into the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Koga says that the difficult part of his jobs is the environment where he has to wear these protective gears, and there are many restrictions and his tasks require him to ask for permissions from the regulation authorities to proceed. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Kazuyuki Ogaki of Toshiba poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Ogaki supervises the radiation dose of workers at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Ogaki is a Fukushima local, and his children have not been able to go back to the house where they grew up ever since the accident. Ogaki wants to work at Fukushima Daiichi at least until they can go back to their hometown. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Mitsuyoshi Sato of Toshiba poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Sato works in the team that operates the vacuum-cleaner-like robots that de-contaminate the reactor No. 2 and No. 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Sato has been working in Fukushima for five years as he voluntarily offered to move to Fukushima to do research on water purification five months after the accident, and once that project is settled, again offered to continue in the decontamination project. Sato says he is too busy to think about the meaning of his job, and he has other things that he wants to work on as a researcher, but he feels his job is something that has to be done now. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Kazuyuki Ogaki of Toshiba poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Ogaki supervises the radiation dose of workers at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Ogaki is a Fukushima local, and his children have not been able to go back to the house where they grew up ever since the accident. Ogaki wants to work at Fukushima Daiichi at least until they can go back to their hometown. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Yasushi Ooishi of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Ooishi works in the team to handle the contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclea Power Plant. Oishi says decommission is something his people must do and only his people can do. Oishi wishes the process was quicker, but there are obstacles and his teams cannot do everything as they wish when cooperating with the government officials and local communities. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Akira Ono, the Fukuhima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Chief of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Ono says he takes pride in his work. His job is very difficult but his team works hard towards the decommission of the reactors for the recovery of Fukushima, and works safely not to worry the society and people in Fukushima. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
OKUMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 23: Yusuke Nakagawa of TEPCO poses for a portrait on February 23, 2016 in Okuma, Japan. Nakagawa works in the team that operates the robotics used to de-contaminate in the reactor buildings. Nakagawa says he wants to contribute to the recovery of Fukushima, and de-contaminating the reactors is the crucial task needed to proceed the reactor decommission, the most important issue of Fukushima Daiichi. March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami which claimed the lives of 15,894, and the subsequent damage to the reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing the nuclear disaster which still forces 99,750 people to live as evacuees away from the contaminated areas. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
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