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Update on Japan: Over 1,000 Feared Dead, Explosion at Nuclear Power Plant

Natural Disasters

At about 3:30 pm local time in Japan (about 1:30 am EST), an explosion occurred at the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant, which is located about 155 miles northeast of Tokyo. Four workers were injured and 45,000 people in the area are being evacuated, however Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan says the amount of radiation leaked is “tiny.” He has declared a state of emergency at the power plant until they determine the risk of a meltdown and iodine — which is used for radiation sickness — may be distributed as a precaution. It should be noted that the explosion itself was not a nuclear blast, it was an explosion at the site. And while radiation levels initially rose, they have since fallen.

The Japanese government’s chief spokesman, Yukio Edano, said the concrete building housing the plant’s number one reactor had collapsed but the metal reactor container inside was not damaged.

According to the BBC:

Analysts say a meltdown would not necessarily lead to a major disaster because light-water reactors would not explode even if they overheated.

Since yesterday, the estimated death toll has increased to over 1,000 and it’s being called the biggest earthquake to hit Japan in over 1,200 years. It was also 8,000 times stronger than the earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand in February. Over 100 aftershocks have continued to shake the area and approximately 215,000 people are displaced from their homes.

The U.S. is currently sending humanitarian aid to Japan and the Red Cross is providing updates on Twitter on how we can help.

(CNN, BBC, Uproxx)

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