TOKYO -- Japan fell quiet at 2:46 p.m. Thursday to mark the minute that an earthquake began 10 years ago, setting off a tsunami and nuclear crisis that devastated the country's northeast coast in a disaster that one survivor said he fears people are beginning to forget.

Carrying bouquets of flowers, many walked to the seaside or visited graves to pray for relatives and friends washed away by the water. Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga were among those observing a moment of silence at a memorial in Tokyo. Dignitaries and representatives of the survivors spoke -- but most watched the ceremony online or on television because of restrictions to slow the coronavirus pandemic.

The magnitude-9.0 quake that struck on March 11, 2011 -- one of the biggest on record -- triggered a wall of water that swept far inland, destroying towns and causing meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

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