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14 March 2011 :: 12:03:56 pm 51489

Japan’s ‘Toughest’ Crisis Since WW II

SENDAI (Japan) – Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said Japan experience the country’s toughest crisis since World War II as it battles the aftermath of an earthquake, tsunami and a growing nuclear catastrophe.
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“In the 65 years after the end of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan commetned at a televised news conference on Sunday.

“We Japanese had a lot of difficulties in the past, but we were able to overcome those difficulties to reach this peaceful and prosperous society we have been able to build,” Kan said. “So with regard to the earthquake and tsunami, I am confident that the Japanese people can be united to work together.”

He added, “I ask each one of you, please have such determination, and deepen your bond with your family members, your neighbors and the people in your community to overcome this crisis so that Japan can be a better place. We can do it together.”

The National Police Agency reports that the death toll rises to almost 1,600 on Sunday with over 1,900 injured and almost 1,500 missing. About 15,000 have been rescued, the Kyodo News Agency reported on Monday.

About 2.5 million households, just over 4% of the total in Japan, were without electricity on Sunday, said Ichiro Fujisaki, the nation’s U.S. ambassador. Rolling blackouts take place in some areas to preserve electricity as emergency workers try to repair power plants damaged by the quake.

The cooling systems of two reactors at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant failed, as caused by the 8.9-magnitude quake. Both are in danger of melting down and hence have the potential to cause serious environmental catastrophe.

Sea water is used to cool down the reactors as it is injected into reactors 1 and 3 – a last-ditch attempt to make the reactors unusable.

On Saturday, a hydrogen blast blew up reactor 1 building, where technicians had been releasing radioactive steam as part of their attempts to cool the reactor.

Government officials have admitted there is now a risk of a similar explosion in reactor 3. However, chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano said the facility could withstand the impact and the nuclear reactor itself would not be damaged.

The authorities say that radiation levels around the damaged plant have exceeded legal safety limits.

Tens of thousands of people are being evacuated from within a 20km (12.4-mile) radius.

At least 22 people are being treated due to radiation exposure. Workers in protective clothing have been checking residents as they leave the evacuation zone.

Earlier, Japan’s nuclear energy agency declared an emergency at a second nuclear facility, in Onagawa, after excessive radiation levels were recorded there. However, the agency now says levels have returned to normal.

All three reactors at Onagawa complex is said to be functioning properly after the automatic shut down triggered by the earthquake and tsunami. The rise in the radiation level might have been caused by the Fukushima leak.

Meanwhile, within the neighborhoods, rescuers and shell-shocked residents continued scrambling through the mess searching for survivors. Japanese troops went door-to-door in Inshinomaki city, hoping to find survivors but only found bodies of elderly residents.

Rescuers trampled through water-logged, debris-filled streets in the ruin city of Sendai. Cars were stacked on top of each other. Layers of mud covered the remains of what used to be homes.

The earthquake prediction department chief for the Japan Metorological Agency warned the country that the worst may not be over yet. There is a high chance of another earthquake – magnitude 7.0 or above, in the next three days because of increased tectonic activity.

The Japanese agency canceled all tsunami warnings on Sunday, but said more warnings were likely to be issued because of aftershocks.

Japan plans to send out 100,000 members of its defense forces to the quake-ravaged region, double the previous number, authorities said on Sunday.

“We are extending emergency food, drinks and assistance to affected areas,” the prime minister’s office said.

At least 48 other countries and the European Union also have offered relief. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan arrived off Japan’s coast Sunday morning to support Japanese forces in disaster relief operations, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement.

Friday’s quake is the strongest in recorded history to hit Japan since 1900, according to USGS. The world’s largest recorded quake took place in Chile on May 22, 1960, with a magnitude of 9.5, the agency said.

Report by : CNN


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TOKYO – A 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan’s northeastern coast on Friday, consequently generated a 13-foot (4 meters) tsunami, damaging cars and buildings along the coast near the epicenter.

Japan Tsunami: Over 1000 Died, At Risk Of Radiation Leakage

An enormous rescue team is sweeping into action in Japan’s northeastern coastline, after it was struck by the destructive tsunami, taking hundreds of lives.

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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