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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid