Second explosion in nuclear crisis
THE grim discovery of more than 2000 bodies on Japan’s shoreline has brought home the enormity of the destruction from Friday’s earthquake and ensuing tsunami.
About 1000 bodies were f ound yesterday on t he shoreline of Miyagi’s Ojika Peninsula, the region hit hardest by the 9.0 quake.
The other 1000 corpses were discovered washed ashore at the port town of Minamisanriku where authorities are still trying to determine the fate of some 10,000 people unaccounted for since Friday.
The police have confirmed a death toll of 1597 while 1481 people are known to be missing across the eastern and northeastern parts of Japan. The worst fears are that the final death toll will be well above 10,000.
Miyagi prefecture has now asked for help from other prefectures in cremating victims of the disaster as they are unable to keep up with discovery of bodies.
As the full extent of the crisis continues to become apparent, the threat of nuclear meltdown continues following a second ex-plosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant yesterday and the ongoing operation to control tempera- tures and radioactive leaks at two crippled reactors.
The United Nations said a total of 590,000 people had been evacuated, including 210,000 living near the two Fukushima nuclear plants. With so many now living in shelters, the supply of food and fresh water rapidly becoming just one more massive problem for authorities to deal with.
DFAT are still trying to contact about 150 Aust- ralians registered in affected areas. This includes Melbourne man Jason Briffa who has not been heard of since Friday.
The closure of nuclear power plants in affected areas has already led to massive power f ailures. Rolling power outages were scheduled t o begin l ast night. About a third of Japan’s power usage comes from nuclear energy.
The Bank of Japan has pumped 15 t rillion Yen ( A$ 183 billion) i nto t he country’s banking system following a 6 per cent collapse of Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 Index.
The economic cost of the disaster has been put at up to $ US34.6 billion ($ A34.68b) by leading US risk analysis firm AIR Worldwide.
The nuclear crisis worsened with another ex - plosion at the ageing Fukus h i ma Daiichi nuclear power station that blew the roof off the second reactor. While officials once again gave assurances the core had not been damaged, it is widely assumed a radioactive leak has taken place.
Japan’s atomic crisis is predicted to carry on for months as technicians flood the two crippled reactors to stop them overheating.
DANGER: Explosion at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station number three reactor