Japan falls silent a month after tsunami

2011-04-11 08:16

Kesennuma – Japan fell silent at 2.46pm (local time) today as people across the country remembered the thousands killed by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake on March 11 and the monster tsunami it created.

In the devastated city of Kesennuma, soldiers digging through rubble to search for some of the 15 000 people still listed as missing stopped to pay their respects.

An officer ordered his men to down tools and remove their helmets, gloves and masks to mark the moment one month ago when nature unleashed its fury on Japan.

Cold rain fell and the stench of rotting matter hung in the air as a siren sounded to signal the minute had begun, an AFP reporter said.

The minute over, the soldiers picked up the sticks they use in their search for bodies and began the grim task of combing the rubble again.

Television footage from around the northeast, where around 13 000 people are known to have died in the massive waves that crushed the coast, showed survivors and rescue workers bowing their heads in silence.

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