When a floating dock the size of a boxcar washed up on a sandy beach in Oregon, beachcombers got excited because it was the largest piece of debris from last year's tsunami in Japan to show up on the West Coast.
Dozens of volunteers donned white disposable jumpsuits, rubber boots and hard hats at the 370-year-old Jionin Buddhist temple cemetery Friday, sacrificing holiday time to help shovel away layers of tsunami mud and debris.
A month after Japan's earthquake and tsunami, the challenges seem as daunting as ever: Thousands are missing and feared dead, tens of thousands have fled their homes, a leaking nuclear plant remains crippled and powerful aftershocks keep coming.
In the shadow of Japan's struggle to stem radioactive leaks from its stricken nuclear complex, police in white hazmat suits pull bodies of tsunami victims from an evacuated zone in halting work interrupted by radiation alarms.
Japan's prime minister insisted Tuesday that the country was on "maximum alert" to bring its nuclear crisis under control, but the spread of radiation raised concerns about the ability of experts to stabilize the crippled reactor complex.
Mounting problems, including badly miscalculated radiation figures and inadequate storage tanks for huge amounts of contaminated water, stymied emergency workers Sunday as they struggled to nudge Japan's stricken nuclear complex back from the edge of disaster.
Japan's government revealed a series of missteps by the operator of a radiation-leaking nuclear plant on Saturday, including sending workers in without protective footwear in its faltering efforts to control a monumental crisis. The U.S. Navy, meanwhile, rushed to deliver fresh water to replace corrosive salt water now being used in a desperate bid to cool the plant's overheated reactors.
In the first sign that contamination from Japan's stricken nuclear complex had seeped into the food chain, officials said Saturday that radiation levels in spinach and milk from farms near the tsunami-crippled facility exceeded government safety limits.
A nearly completed new power line could restore electric cooling systems in Japan's tsunami-crippled nuclear plant, its operator said Thursday, raising hopes of easing the crisis that has threatened a meltdown.
Aflac Inc. said Monday it has fired Gilbert Gottfried, the abrasive voice of the insurer's quacking duck in the U.S., after the comedian posted a string of mocking jokes about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on Twitter over the weekend.
People across a devastated swath of Japan suffered for a third day Sunday without water, electricity and proper food, as the country grappled with the enormity of a massive earthquake and tsunami that left more than 10,000 people dead in one area alone.
A partial meltdown was likely under way at a second nuclear reactor, a top Japanese official said Sunday, as authorities frantically tried to prevent a similar threat from nearby unit following a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.