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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid