Evacuation zone widening; 300,000 homeless crowd shelters


Fears of second explosion at quake-hit N-plant as exclusion zone stretches to 13 miles

UK Daily Mail
March 13, 2011

Japan’s nuclear crisis was growing today amid the threat of multiple meltdowns, as more than 170,000 people were evacuated from the quake- and tsunami-savaged northeastern coast where police fear more than 10,000 people may have already died.

A partial meltdown was already likely to be under way at one nuclear reactor, a top official said, and operators were frantically trying to keep temperatures down at the power plant’s other units as fears of a second explosion at the facility grew.

As the exclusion zone around the facility was widened to more than 13 miles today, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said that a hydrogen explosion could occur at Unit 3 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex, the reactor that could be melting down.

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Crowded shelters expose scale of disaster

Gwen Robinson and Michiyo Nakamoto
Financial Times
March 13, 2011

The enormity of the humanitarian crisis facing Japan became apparent on Sunday evening as nearly 300,000 people left homeless and dazed by the earthquake and tsunami bedded down in makeshift emergency shelters in the Miyagi and Iwate prefectures.

Temperatures dropped to near-freezing and, with no electricity in much of the region, survivors in more remote areas were struggling without heat, food and, in some cases, clean water. Telephone networks remained disrupted, hampering efforts to account for more than 90,000 people.

The most immediate fear was the prospect of further catastrophe. Japan’s meteorological agency said on Sunday night there had been more than 300 aftershocks since the earthquake struck at 2.46pm on Friday and warned that a giant tremor could occur in the next few days.

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