Japan Tsunami Toll Passes 26,000

In Asia, Earthquakes & Tsunamis, News Headlines

The number of people confirmed dead or listed as missing in Japan has risen above 26,000, nearly two weeks after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the country’s north-east coast.

There are fears of a much higher toll from the disaster, which flattened entire towns along the Pacific coast of northern Honshu island.

The National Police Agency said in its latest update that 9,700 people have been confirmed dead and 16,501 officially listed as missing – a total of 26,201 as a result of the March 11 catastrophe.

A total of 2,766 people have been injured.

The quake has become Japan’s deadliest natural disaster since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which killed more than 142,000 people.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes and have taken shelter in evacuation facilities.

Japanese authorities have also been struggling to control the nuclear crisis at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant since the earthquake and tsunami damaged the plant’s reactor cooling systems.

Explosions and smoke from the reactors prompted mass evacuations and radiation fears have seen restrictions from several governments, including Australia, on the importation of some food from Japan.

Yesterday Tokyo residents were warned not to give babies tap water because of radiation leaking from the Fukushima plant.

Jiji Press has since reported radioactive iodine dropped back below the level safe for infants in Tokyo drinking water, citing an official of the city’s government.

Today technicians restored power to the reactor No.1 control room at the Fukushima plant even as white steam wafted from four reactors at the facility.

The incremental progress means workers can now use two crucial control rooms – at reactors one and three – which they were earlier forced to abandon after a series of explosions and amid strong radiation and in darkness.

The March 11 quake and tsunami cut electricity to the plant and knocked out backup systems, causing the cooling systems to fail. This left the fuel rods inside to heat up and evaporate water, threatening a full meltdown.

Fire engines have hosed down the reactors and topped up spent fuel rod pools to prevent the uranium and plutonium from being exposed to the air – desperate steps intended to stop a major disaster, but also creating radioactive steam.

Reconnecting the reactor control rooms was seen as a key step as workers hope to restart the original cooling systems.

The UN atomic agency says there have been some positive developments at the plant but the overall situation remains serious.

You may also read!

Millions In China Face Arsenic Poisoning

Nearly 20 million people in China live in areas at high risk of arsenic contamination in their water supplies,


Biblical Wormwood Arrives In India

Tubewells in seven wards of Chittagong City Corporation are pumping water with arsenic contamination 10 times higher than the


34 Meter Tsunami Could Hit Japan

TOKYO (AP)—Much of Japan's Pacific coast could be inundated by a tsunami more than 34 meters (112 feet) high


Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Mobile Sliding Menu