News / Asia

Workers Evacuated From Stricken Japan Nuclear Plant

A woman looks at a message board to check for evacuees in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan, Tuesday, March 15, 2011, four days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's east coast.
A woman looks at a message board to check for evacuees in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan, Tuesday, March 15, 2011, four days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's east coast.

Multimedia

Audio

Japanese officials have suspended operations aimed at preventing a stricken nuclear plant from melting down, after a surge in radiation made it too dangerous for workers to remain there.

The chief government spokesman, Yukio Edano, told reporters that radiation levels at the quake-stricken Fukushima plant spiked at mid-morning. He said the remaining workers at the plant were evacuated to a safe area, because of the risk posed by the increased radiation.

Edano said levels have now receded somewhat, and that officials are monitoring them to determine when it would be safe to send the workers back into the plant.

Listen to Les Carpenter speak with VOA's Steve Herman, who is reporting from Koriyama in the disaster region in northern Japan.


Early Wednesday, what appeared to be white smoke was rising from one of the reactors at the plant, which was crippled by last week's devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami. Edano said officials were trying to determine the cause of the smoke, but that the most likely cause is steam escaping from a ruptured containment vessel in one of the reactors.

Japan's government is trying to avert a major nuclear disaster from the crippled plant. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from a 20-kilometer area around the facility.

Watch an explanation of the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant (via NHK)



Authorities also are rushing doctors and emergency supplies to thousands of people who have been left without food, water and shelter following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami.  Japan's NHK television on Tuesday quoted government officials as saying that 3,000 are confirmed dead, but more than 10,000 are missing and feared dead.

The scale of the triple disaster is enormous. U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokesperson Stephanie Bunker told VOA Tuesday she has not seen a disaster quite like this before.

Images from Japan

Television pictures from hard-hit Sendai show people lined up for water and canned food, and some stores rationing food sales to 10 items per person. In other areas, the 100,000 personnel deployed by the government are attempting to rescue survivors stranded by the flood waters and mountains of debris.

Rescue crews still are struggling through debris-blocked roads to get to hundreds of thousands of people whose towns and villages were leveled by Friday's earthquake and tsunami.

The government says 15,000 people have been rescued and 450,000 have been evacuated nationwide.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid