APTOPIX Japan Earthquake
The tsunami's waves hit residences after a powerful earthquake in Natori, Miyagi prefecture (state), Japan, on March 11, 2011.Kyodo News/AP
APTOPIX Japan Earthquake
Japan Earthquake
Magnitude 8.9 Strong Earthquake Jolts Northern Japan
Whirlpools are caused by a tsunami in Fukushima prefecture
Japan Earthquake
Toya Chiba, a reporter for local newspaper Iwate Tokai Shimbun, is swept by a tsunami at Kamaishi port
Japan Earthquake
APTOPIX Japan Earthquake
APTOPIX Japan Earthquake
APTOPIX Japan Earthquake
Officials in protective gear check for signs of radiation on children who are from the evacuation area near the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant in Koriyama
APTOPIX Japan Earthquake
Elderly people warm themselves with blankets at a Japanese Red Cross hospital after being evacuated from the area hit by tsunami in Ishinomaki
A woman cries while sitting on a road amid the destroyed city of Natori, Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan
Mother tries to talk to her daughter who has been isolated for signs of radiation after evacuating from vicinity of Fukushima's nuclear plants, at makeshift facility to screen, cleanse and isolate people with high radiation levels in Nihonmatsu
Japan Earthquake
Medical staff use a Geiger counter to screen a woman for possible radiation exposure at a public welfare centre in Hitachi City
The tsunami's waves hit residences after a powerful earthquake in Natori, Miyagi prefecture (state), Japan, on March 11,
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Kyodo News/AP
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Japan Earthquake: Photos of Fukushima’s Last Tsunami

Less than 24-hours after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit central Mexico, 6.1-magnitude tremors rocked the coast of Japan Wednesday. The quake's epicenter was 175 miles east of Kamaishi, and not far from the 9.0-magnitude blast that sent tsunami waves racing toward Fukushima in 2011. As of this writing, there have not been any reports of damage or tsunami warnings, but the earthquake hit at 2:37 a.m. local time, and the story is still developing.

After the 2011 event caused massive damage at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Japan is understandably on edge over undersea earthquakes. During the earthquake—which was the fourth-largest in world since measurements began in 1900— and the subsequent tsunami, nearly 20,000 people died or went missing.

The tsunami waves, not the earthquake, were what caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility to melt down. Amidst the fallout, the nearby town was ordered to evacuate. More than 5,000 aftershocks hit over the next year, causing $220 billion in damage to to the country.

The images of that disaster were heart-crushing, and many have been indelibly burned into the world's collective memory. The photo gallery above is a reminder of both the might of Mother Nature and the potential danger of nuclear power, as well as a warning for what could happen the next time a big earthquake hits.

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