In March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami devastated the eastern coast of Japan. Thousands of people were killed, and scores more were displaced as a result of the natural disaster. The earthquake and resulting tsunami caused the meltdown of a nuclear power station located in Fukushima Prefecture. Radioactive material leaked into the Pacific Ocean, and the area surrounding the plant became irradiated. This led to the development of an exclusion zone around the plant, and the evacuation of cities near the stricken nuclear site.