TOKYO (AP) — Japan is marking the 10th anniversary Thursday of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that hit the northeastern region, where many survivors’ lives are still on hold.

People, some carrying bouquets, walked to the coast to pray for relatives and friends washed away by the tsunami. Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga are scheduled to observe a moment of silence at a memorial service later Thursday.

The magnitude 9.0 quake that struck on March 11, 2011, was one of the biggest temblors on record and set off a massive tsunami that swept far inland, destroying towns and causing meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. More than 18,000 people died in the triple disaster and nearly half a million people were displaced.

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