News / Asia

New Explosion Heard at Japanese Nuclear Plant

Upon hearing another tsunami warning, a father tries to flee for safety with his just reunited four-month-old baby girl who was spotted by Japan's Self-Defense Force member in the rubble of tsunami-torn Ishinomaki Monday, March 14, 2011.
Upon hearing another tsunami warning, a father tries to flee for safety with his just reunited four-month-old baby girl who was spotted by Japan's Self-Defense Force member in the rubble of tsunami-torn Ishinomaki Monday, March 14, 2011.
Henry Ridgwell

Latest Update

A third explosion in four days has rocked an earthquake-damaged nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan, sparking fears of major radioactive leak.  The explosion early Tuesday at the Fukushima plant follow similar blasts on Saturday and Monday.

Japan's Nuclear Safety Agency says the latest explosion may have damaged the reactor's pressure-suppressing system.


Workers at a nuclear plant in Japan are battling to prevent a meltdown in one of the reactors, following the massive earthquake that struck the north-east part of the country on Friday.  The latest government figures figures put the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami at over 2,000 - but that’s likely to increase dramatically in the coming days.

Amateur video footage, taken in a coastal town as the tsunami hit, reveals the full power of the tsunami in horrific detail. Residents had just minutes to flee before the wall of water came ashore.

Listen to Les Carpenter speak with VOA's Steve Herman in Koriyama about the latest developments at the Fukushima nuclear plant

The town where the video was taken, Miniami Sanriku on the coast of Miyagi prefecture, is now flattened. Authorities say 10,000 of its residents are missing.


Japan has now dispatched 100,000 troops to the area and rescue teams from the U.S, New Zealand, China and other countries have arrived.

Aid Sent and Offered to Japan

  • US: 8 warships off coast, 50 rescue workers, US AID sending 72 personnel and equipment
  • Australia: sends dogs, search, rescue teams
  • Afghanistan: provice of Kandahar offers $50,000 in aid
  • Britain, France, Germany offer personnel, equipment, emergency aid
  • Russia: increases energy supplies to Japan
  • China, South Korea, India offer aid

They are being greeted with scenes of utter devastation. The death toll is rising steadily; it will be weeks before it’s known how many people lie buried here, or how many were swept out to sea.

Reunions bring relief from the horror, but for many more families the search for loved ones continues.

The grim rescue efforts are taking place against the backdrop of a threatened nuclear disaster.

Now, technicians are trying to avoid a meltdown in one of the three reactors by pouring in seawater. They say the fuel rods were almost completely exposed - raising fears of a further catastrophe.

Raw video of tsunami

All people within a 20-kilometer radius of the plant are being evacuated to other areas.  The Japanese government is playing down fears of a nuclear disaster - but news reports say that a U.S. aircraft carrier in the area has been redeployed, after recording abnormally high levels of radiation 100 kilometers offshore.

Social Media: Disaster in Japan


The Crisis Commons volunteer community has mobilized, and part of the effort is being coordinated by Japanese students at U.S. universities.


The Red Cross has opened a page on causes.com to raise money for the victims of Friday's disaster in Japan.


Google has launched a service for people seeking to reconnect with those in the disaster area.


The State Department tweeted:
RT @TravelGov: U.S. citizens in #Japan can stay informed about current conditions in the region through #STEP: goo.gl/SdXk #tsunami

Aftershocks continue to rock much of northern and eastern Japan - including the capital.

At six pm on a Monday evening, Tokyo's main train station is normally packed, as millions of commuters head to the suburbs.

It appears many workers have heeded the government’s call for people to stay home, in an effort to conserve energy.

For those who did venture out, the sense of fear following Friday's massive earthquake is still present. “It’s very scary. I’m scared of more earthquakes,” one person said.

“I was in my office on the 33rd floor when the earthquake struck on Friday. It swayed from side to side, everyone was so shocked,” said another.

The danger is not yet over.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency says there is a 70 percent chance of a magnitude 7 or stronger earthquake striking in the next three days.

In this huge urban area of 35-million inhabitants, there is a palpable nervousness over what the coming days may bring.

As Tokyo’s workers head home - it's likely their thoughts are also with the tens of thousands of people further north, whose homes and livelihoods have crumbled or been washed away.

Images from Miyagi Prefecture, Sendai, Japan (photos by S.L. Herman)

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
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.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid