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Japan's big aftershock one month after disaster

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Japan's big aftershock one month after disaster


A wide area of eastern Japan has been rocked by a powerful aftershock exactly a month after the country suffered double devastation from an earthquake and tsunami.

The latest 6.6 tremor shook buildings in Tokyo and surrounding regions, killing one man and knocking out power to 220,000 households.

It came on the day that everyone stopped for a one minute silence at 2.46pm local time – exactly one month after Japan’s magnitude nine quake. More than 13,000 people have been confirmed dead and 14,600 are still missing.

The majority of those were caught up in the tsunami that followed the tremor — a wave up to 15 metres high that consumed everything in its path along hundreds of kilometres of coastline.

Around 160,000 people are still without electricity and 210,000 have no running water.

Many schools, temples and sports facilities have been turned into shelters housing more than 150,000 who lost their homes.

It might be a home of sorts, but for many living conditions are still tough.

Tsunami evacuee Kyoko Moriko has taken refuge at the Kamaishi High School in the Iwate prefecture. The 63-year-old said: ‘I’ve been living here for about a month and my stress levels are at their limit now. I want to move into a house as quickly as possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s temporary or publicly owned.’

Officials also extended the evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima nuclear power station because of the high level of accumulated radiation.

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People are being encouraged to leave certain areas even beyond the existing 20 km exclusion zone around the plant.

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