sexta-feira, 11 de março de 2011

Live blog: Japan earthquake IX

Picture: Reuters 
There may be some accuracy to these reports of increased danger at Fukushima nuclear power plant. AP is now reporting radiation levels have surged outside the facility, and Japanese officials have expanded the area subject to evacuation. 


AFP is quoting the Kyodo News Agency as reporting the Japan safety panel saying radiation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant has reached levels 1,000 times of normal levels. 
You can be sure we'll bring you more on those reports.  
Pressure has been building at the nuclear plant after a reactor's cooling system was damaged in the earthquake.
Meanwhile, contrary to earlier reports, officials say that the US did not deliver nuclear coolant material, and that Japanese authorities handled the situation themselves. 


Chile's Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter has just ordered a massive "preventative" evacuation of areas considered "flood prone" along the country's 4,200 km coastline. The evacuation must be complete within the next five hours - by 0230 GMT (1130JST) - except in a few of the most southern cities, which have an extra 2.5hours to move their citizens. 
The government there is asking people to remain calm. 


 Tsunami waves expected to hit Easter Island in around an hour. Officials in Chile say a third of the island's 5,000 population have been evacuated. 


John Large, independent nuclear safety analyst, tells Al Jazeera that Japanese officials will have to manage a balancing act at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. 
He says there is a risk of exposing the public if they try to contain radioactive steam, once vented from the reactor, in the secondary dome - as it may also have been damaged during the earthquake. This means there may be a leak. 
However, not venting the steam - as the pressure in the reactor builds - may lead to a much worse danger being posed. 


More than 4million buildings in Tokyo and its suburbs are without power, say Japanese public broadcaster NHK. 


The US coastguard has launched MH-65C helicopters in a bid to find a man carried away by waves on the nothern California shoreline, not far from Crescent City, where some 35 boats were damaged in port - the worst damage reported so far along the west coast of the US. 
The coastguard issued a statement, saying:

    A man was swept out to sea by a wave after he and two friends reportedly travelled to the shoreline to take photos of the incoming tsunami waves. 


 Would-be travellers sleep in the lobby of Haneda airport in Tokyo after the earthquake and tsunami caused major disruption to travel infrastructure: 
Picture: Reuters
More eyewitness reports coming in. 
Jesse Johnson, from Nevada in the US was with his wife, eating at a sushi restaurant in Chiba, north of Tokyo, when the quake hit. He told AP news agency:

    At first it didn't feel unusual, but then it went on and on. So I got myself and my wife under the table. I've lived in Japan for ten years, and I've never felt anything like this before. The aftershocks keep coming.

    It's gotten to the point where I don't know whether it's me shaking or an earthquake.

Toyota, Nissan and Honda have halted production at some assembly plants in areas hit by the quake. One worker was killed and more than 30 injured after being crushed by a collapsing wall at a Honda research facility in north-eastern Tochigi prefecture, the company said.

More on that "small radioactive leak" from Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was damaged by the earthquake. Thousands of residents in the area have been moved out of harm's way, said Japanese officials. 
The plant, where cooling systems were knocked out by the quake, is 240km north of Tokyo.
 Pressure building in the plant was set to be released soon, a move that could result in a radiation leak, officials said. 
Some 3,000 people who live within a 3km radius of the plant have been evacuated, Kyodo news agency said. Cabinet chief Yukio Edanotol reporters: 
        It's possible that radioactive material in the reactor vessel could leak outside but the amount is expected to be small and the wind blowing towards the sea will be considered. 
       Residents are safe, after those within a 3km radius were evacuated, and those within a 10km radius staying indoors - so we want people to be calm. 
Prime Minister Naoto Kan will visit the plant later this Saturday morning, and also fly over the quake-hit area, he said.

This map has appeared online, with overlays including tectonic plate boundaries, the "shake strength", measured by the US Geological Service, and government shelters provided for those in need. To get a live version, and to interact with it yourself, click here. Note: The epicentre of the earthquake is marked with a star. 

Fonte: Al-Jazeera

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