Massive quake rattles Japan again
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Tokyo/Fukushima, Apr 7: Japan's quake-devastated northeast faced a fresh tsunami alert today after a massive 7.4 magnitude temblor shook the region, as engineers pumped in nitrogen into a reactor at the Fukushima nuclear facility in their desperate bid to prevent another hydrogen blast.
The powerful earthquake jolted the Miyagi prefecture, 118km north of Fukushima. The quake that hit 40 kilometres under the water, prompted an immediate tsunami alert with authorities warning that it could trigger waves up to three feet high.
The quake was felt as far away as Tokyo and Japan's national broadcaster NHK asked those in the quake-hit areas to evacuate to higher ground. Kyodo reported no immediate casualties or damage. A magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11 devastated northeast Japan and damaged the atomic facility at Fukushima that is presently the centre of the country's worst nuclear crisis since World War II.
Officials said the earthquake caused no further damage to the crippled plant.
The fresh quake struck Japan as authorities here mulled extending the evacuation zone around the radiation-leaking plant.
For the first time since the March 11 quake and tsunami, police in protective gear launched a search for around 2,500 people missing within the 10-20 km radius of the crippled plant, where such an operation had not been carried out before due to high levels of radiation.
A day after registering rare progress by plugging a 12-inch crack leaking highly radioactive water into the sea, the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said its workers injected chemically-stable nitrogen into the No.1 reactor, where a build-up of hydrogen gas had raised concerns about a possible radiation-leaking explosion.
Last month's hydrogen blasts at the No.1 and No.3 reactors following the quake and tsunami destroyed reactor buildings, causing release of radioactive steam.
TEPCO said the operation to reduce the risk of a blast has gone smoothly, Kyodo reported.
As Japan battled to cool its overheating reactors, the number of foreign nationals, who left Japan in the week after the earthquake, was reported to be 240,000, up 100,000 from the previous 7 days.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 7 Apr 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 7 Apr 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 8 Apr 2011 00:00:00 IST
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PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Tokyo/Fukushima, Apr 7: Japan's quake-devastated northeast faced a fresh tsunami alert today after a massive 7.4 magnitude temblor shook the region, as engineers pumped in nitrogen into a reactor at the More