Developments in Japan following the earthquake, tsunami
The following are the primary developments after a massive earthquake struck northeast Japan and spawned a tsunami.
Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM
DESTRUCTION: Aragama village in Soma, Fukushima prefecture, Japan was devastated by the 8.9-magnitue quake. (Photo: ZUMA Press)
A look at the major developments on Monday out of Japan:
- The death toll expected to exceed 10,000 from the quake and tsunami, public broadcaster NHK says. About 2,000 bodies found on two shores of Miyagi prefecture, Kyodo news agency reports.
- Japan battles to prevent nuclear catastrophe. A hydrogen explosion jolts the No. 3 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, 150 miles north of Tokyo. Operator Tokyo Electric Power Company says 11 people were injured.
- Before the blast, officials said 22 people had suffered radiation contamination. Up to 190 may have been exposed.
- Operator TEPCO begins reinjecting water into No. 2 reactor in the hope of cooling it, and says water levels have risen and half the fuel rods are exposed.
- Nuclear safety agency rates the incident a 4 on the 1 to 7 International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, less serious than Three Mile Island, a 5, and Chernobyl at 7.
- Switzerland's energy minister says suspends approvals process for three nuclear power stations so safety standards can be revisited.
- Germany's ruling coalition is discussing suspending for three months its decision last year to extend the life of Germany's nuclear power plants, a coalition source says.
- Authorities have set up a 12-mile exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant and a 6 mile zone around Fukushima Daini.
- Strong aftershocks persist in the stricken area.
- About 450,000 people evacuated nationwide in addition to 80,000 from the exclusion zone around the nuclear power plants. Almost 2 million households are without power in the freezing north and about 1.4 million households have no running water.
- Reactor operator says rolling blackout to affect 3 million customers, including large factories, buildings and households. Blackouts affected 113,000 households Monday, it says.
- Japan's Nikkei share index falls more than 6 percent, dragging European stocks to their lowest in three months.
- The Bank of Japan (BoJ) offers to pump a record $85 billion into the banking system.
- Credit Suisse estimates the loss at between 14 trillion yen ($171 billion) and 15 trillion yen just to the quake region.
Copyright 2011 Reuters US Online Report Top News