The March 11 earthquake has plunged Japan into a state of nuclear crisis as fresh reports of blasts at nuclear plants pour in every few hours. Fears of radiation leaks and a nuclear catastrophe similar to the man-made one in Hiroshima and Nagasaki six and a half decades ago during the second world war has left the world jittery.

Japan was caught off guard by a powerful earthquake, measuring 9.0 in magnitude on the afternoon of Friday, March 11. The quake that struck the Pacific Coast triggered a monstrous tsunami that engulfed half of the nation, while other regions suffered outbreak of fires and landslides.

Even as the earthquake continued its destruction, concerns over the countries' nuclear installations emerged. In a bid to calm fears, Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan told media personnel in Tokyo on Friday that nuclear power facilities across Japan were not damaged and there was no radiation leakage reported.

However, it was only a matter of time before the possibility of a nuclear disaster reared its ugly head.

Start the slideshow to track Japan's unfolding nuclear crisis:

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