Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan crisis 'worst since WWII


Japan crisis 'worst since WWII

rime Minister Naoto Kan has said Japan is experiencing its greatest hardships since World War II as it tackles the aftermath of an earthquake, tsunami and a growing nuclear crisis.
He said the situation at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant remained grave, a day after an explosion at a reactor.
Japanese broadcaster NHK says the total number of confirmed deaths caused by the disaster now stands at 1,596.But police warn that the death toll in Miyagi region alone could top 10,000.
Millions of survivors remain without electricity and authorities are stepping up relief efforts as the scale of the tragedy becomes clearer.About 310,000 people have been evacuated to emergency shelters, NHK says.
'Most severe crisis'
The cooling systems of two reactors at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant failed after the 8.9-magnitude quake struck off the north-east coast.On Saturday, a huge explosion blew apart the building housing reactor 1, where technicians had been venting steam to cool the reactor. Sea water is being injected into the other reactor in an attempt to cool it.The Japanese authorities have admitted that radiation levels near the damaged plant at one point exceeded legal safety limits.
Tens of thousands of people are being evacuated from within a 20km (12.4-mile) radius.

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