Earthquake Damage Causes Radiation Risk in Japan
This situation is reminiscent of the Hiroshima disaster.
Japan Earthquake/Nuclear Explosion in Fukushima
Sendai has been devasted, but so also is Fukushima devasted, where there is danger of radiation.
Today is the 13th March 2011, in New Zealand, at 4.A.M., and BBC have reported during the night that an explosion has occurred at the nuclear reactor based in Fukushima.
An earthquake has also been reported in Fukushima in the past few hours. This was thought to have occurred at 22.15 local Japan time. The magnitude was 6.0. We were shown the two biggest buildings at the centre of Fukushima, the ‘city office’, but one of these had disappeared when the camera returned to the area.
Authorities are playing down the danger of the explosion at the nuclear plant in Fukushima, saying that the plant is still safe. Nevertheless, people have been evacuated for about two kilometres from the plant.
We saw a cloud of smoke rising from the plant after the explosion. Professor Robin Grimes, a radiation expert, says it is possibly a hydrogen explosion, but the important question is “How much radiation has been released?” Radiation, if it has escaped in the explosion, will poison the immediate area, posing a health hazard for people for miles around. Because it is released into the air will also pollute the world-wide environment. Radiation is known to cause cancer.
The cooling system of the nuclear reactor at Fukushima is damaged, and a melt down is feared. Sea water is being used to try to cool the plant down, and Professor Grimes says that this really is a drastic measure which will render the plant useless in the future, if it isn’t already useless, as salt water is very corrosive. “This reactor will never restart”, he says.
At Sendai, which is only about 80 miles from the epicentre of the earthquake, a fire at a petro-chemical complex is still raging, more than 24 hours after the earthquake struck.
In Minamisanrika, 10,000 people are reported missing. This is more than half the population of this coastal town, whose population is 17,000. There are many other villages and towns along the coast which have been swept away by the tsunami which followed the earthquake, so the death toll is likely to be huge.
One train was swept away in the tsunami. It is not known how many people were on this train. We were shown footage of derailed trains in Shinchi, in the Fakushima prefecture.
A ship with around 100 people on it has disappeared, and many other ships have been wrecked.
Countires Flocking to Japan’s aid:
More than 50 countries have offered aid to Japan. President Obama expressed his sympathy with Japanese people, and offered aid to Japan within hours of the earthquake striking, saying that Japan has a long record of being generous with its aid to other countries: One would expect that the world -wide response to Japan’s crisis will be generous and immediate.
Japan has been helping Christchurch earthquake victims over the past two to three weeks, collaborating here in New Zealand in an outstanding international search and rescue effort. New Zealand has just sent off its search and rescue team to Japan, to help out there.