Japan Earthquake 2011: Over '1000' people feared dead, possible radiation leaks

A day after a massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake jolted Japan which is the strongest to ever hit the country in recorded history triggering a destructive tsunami, more than one thousand people are now being feared to be dead. The government also expressed its concerns over possible radiation leaks from damaged nuclear power plant.

Waves of tsunami hitting the coast of Miyagi, Japan after a massive 8.9 earthquake struck the area on March 11, 2011 | Photo courtesy of the owner

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yuki Edano said the death toll would probably well over 1000.

Kyodo News agency reported that 420 bodies had been recovered by the authorities, with about 1000 are still missing and many sustained injuries.

The government fears of more destruction as large-scale aftershocks are being experienced. The Meteorological Agency said more than 100 aftershocks had occurred in the past 24 hours, many of them stronger than magnitude-6 on the Richter scale.

The agency has issued tsunami warnings for many coastal regions in the country.
Radioactive caesium has been found near the nuclear power plants of Fukushima in the quake-stricken north-eastern region, the government's nuclear safety commission said.

Evacuees stand around Shinjuku Central Park in Tokyo Japan March 11, 2011. | Photo courtesy of Reuters

But public broadcaster NHK reported as the amount of the leak is limited and most of radiation is still in the reactor, that is not a cause of concern, citing Naoto Sekimura, professor at the University of Tokyo, an expert of quantum engineering.

Evacuations had been ordered early Saturday after the cooling system at a second nuclear power plant broke down in the wake of the massive earthquake.

Residents within 3 kilometres of the Fukushima II power plant were also ordered to leave their homes. Earlier in the day, authorities extended evacuations to residents living within 10 kilometres of another nearby nuclear plant, Fukushima I, where the cooling system experienced troubles Friday.

A worker inspects a caved-in section of the Joban Motorway near Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, after one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in Japan slammed its eastern coast Friday, March 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Nexco East Japan via Kyodo News)

Radiation measurements inside the Fukushima I nuclear plant were 1,000 times higher than normal, the Kyodo news agency reported early Saturday, citing Japan's nuclear safety agency.

The country was facing the risk of blackouts as a result of damage to power systems caused by the earthquake and tsunami, the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) warned Saturday.

The risk of power failures was not confined to the affected areas.

TEPCO urged businesses and residents to use electricity sparingly. The utility could currently provide only 37 million kilowatts of power, which could be increased by 1 million kilowatts by the evening.

The company has sought support from other operators, the Kyodo news agency reported.

TEPCO supplies power to the damaged Fukushima I nuclear plant. Ventilators at the plant had to be opened to release pressure within reactors. A small amount of radiation was released in the process, the company said. rn Japan, while thousands were stranded in Miyagi, waiting for assistance, the Nikkei business daily said.

Info courtesy of: Monstersandcritics.com

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