New footage has been released of the moment Japan’s tsunami hit the Fukushima nuclear power plant. It was taken from the cellphone of a worker at the plant.
The video shows the giant wave generated by the historic March 11 earthquake crashing over the plant’s seawall and engulfing the facility, with one sheet of spray rising higher than the buildings that house the plant’s six reactors. Tokyo Electric Power, the plant’s owner, told reporters the wall of water was likely 14 to 15 meters (45 to 48 feet) higher than normal sea levels — easily overwhelming the plant’s 5-meter seawall.
The footage was was shot from high ground about 900 meters south of the plant by a worker who evacuated before the tsunami hit, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said in releasing the six-second clip.
Photos released by the company showed shattered windows, scattered papers and dangling ceiling tiles throughout the plant’s now-empty office annex. Two workers were killed in the basement of the No. 4 reactor’s turbine plant when the tsunami struck, and their bodies were recovered only last week.