Japan's Recovery Could Take Years

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The government of Japan is doing everything it can to prevent a nuclear catastrophe after Friday's massive earthquake.

Experts said it was the 5th worst quake since 1900 and the most powerful ever recorded on the island nation.

Even though the country was prepared for a major quake, it has been clearly overwhelmed by the scale of this disaster.

See a special AP Interactive on the humanitarian and nuclear crisis facing Japan.

Click play to watch John Jessup's report, followed by comments from Ken Joseph of the Japan Emergency Team, a Christian relief agency helping out in the country.

It has now been three days after a major earthquake caused a massive wall of water to surge on to dry land, destroying most of everything in its path. The toll of the devastation is becoming clearer by the day.

Some victims have returned to what were their homes -- unable to recognize anything. By the government's count, about 400,000 people are homeless and living in makeshift shelters.

People who survived the quake and tsunami now wait in unbearably long lines for hours for food, water and fuel.

Some places have nothing, which doesn't help the frustration, the weariness, and frayed nerves.

"In one area people came from, no food, no water, no nothing," said Ken Joseph, of the Japan Emergency Team. "And people are getting pretty upset. They lost it and just about beat up the government officials."

Click here for more of Joseph's comments regarding Japan's relief efforts.

Government officials have also tried to get the emergency situation at nuclear power plants under control after two explosions over the weekend.

"We are at a reactor tipping point," said Joe Cirincione, a nuclear policy expert. "Either over the next 24-48 hours they are going to get control of these reactors, or, they will get meltdown at one or more reactors -- a completely unprecedented situation."

Officials estimate 12,000 people have been rescued so far, including a 60-year-old man who was found floating on his roof for two days. The tsunami swept away his home -- and his wife.

"My relatives and friends are missing after the tsunami destroyed the village," one 30-year-old survivor said. "They were all washed away."

Nations from around the world have sent teams to help with aid with the search and rescue efforts.

"It is our honor to be here and to work alongside the teams here in Japan and to provide assistance for those who have been affected," said Jim Stuart-Black of the New Zealand Rescue Team.

The cost of the natural disaster is expected to reach up to $100 billion, but the total impact could take months if not years to fully grasp.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.