2000 bodies found on Japan prefecture sea shore

March 14th, 2011 - 11:49 am ICT by ANI  

Tokyo, Mar. 14 (ANI): About 2000 bodies have reportedly been found on the shores of the Japanese prefecture of Miyagi.

A Kyodo news agency report said 1000 dead bodies were found washed up on the shores of Ojika Peninsula in Miyagi, while another 1000 were found in the town of Minamisanriku.

It quoted authorities in Minamisanriku as saying that they have been unable to contact 10,000 people - more than half of the population living there.

Meanwhile, the Japan Meteorological Agency has said there is no current risk of another deadly wave hitting the country’s north-eastern coast.

Earlier television reports said that a three-metre wave was heading for the coast.

Public broadcaster NHK said a three-metre high wave was spotted from a fire department helicopter off Fukushima prefecture, but later added that any wave was unlikely to be higher than several tens of centimetres.

The sea was reportedly seen retreating off Iwate prefecture in the north-east of Honshu island, a phenomenon that occurs before the massive waves hit, and residents were being ordered to higher ground.

Earlier today a 5.8 magnitude quake - one of many aftershocks since Friday’s massive 8.9 quake - struck at a depth of 18 kilometres off Ibaraki prefecture, shaking tall buildings in Japan’s capital.

Meanwhile, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant operator TEPCO said reactor No.3 had survived an explosion at 11.01 a.m. local time, Jiji Press reported.

The plant is about 250 kilometres north-east of Tokyo.

Japanese chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano said the head of nuclear plant operator TEPCO advised authorities that the container vessel was still safe.

He said that, according to the data and information he had, water injection into the plant was continuing and the pressure recorded within it was still of an acceptable range.

Noriyuki Shikata, the Japanese Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations, added that the blast at No.3 was “deemed to be the same” type of explosion that occurred at the No.1 reactor on Saturday.

Reactor No.3 “remains healthy” and there was no recorded increase in the radiation around the plant, he said.

Operators had earlier halted injection of seawater into the reactor, resulting in a rise in radiation levels and pressure.

The government had warned that an explosion was possible because of the build-up of hydrogen in the building housing the reactor.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Japanese authorities reported that radioactivity levels “at the site boundary” of another nuclear power plant at Onagawa had returned to normal.

“The current assumption of the Japanese authorities is that the increased level may have been due to a release of radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant,” the IAEA said.

It added: “Investigations at the site indicate that no emissions of radioactivity have occurred from any of the three units at Onagawa.”

However, the emergency continues at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. About 210,000 tsunami survivors were being evacuated from its surrounding areas.

In all, six reactors are having trouble keeping cool, the government said, and seawater was being pumped through two of them as an emergency measure.

All of the reactors at all of the 55 nuclear facilities across Japan shut down automatically when the earthquake shook the region.

A mass evacuation of about 210,000 tsunami survivors from near the Fukushima nuclear power complex was still under way last night.

The death toll from Friday’s tsunami in the worst hit Miyagi prefecture would rise beyond 10,000, police said. About 2.5 million homes were without power and 1.4 million without water, it added.

A total of 380,000 people have been evacuated to shelters after more than 20,000 buildings were wiped out along the coastline.

“Our country faces its worst crisis since the end of the war 65 years ago,” the Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, said yesterday. He added: “I’m convinced that working together with all our might the Japanese people can overcome this.”

The devastating earthquake could lead to insured losses of nearly 35 billion dollars, risk modelling company AIR Worldwide said, making it one of the most expensive catastrophes in history.

AIR said its loss estimate range was 14.5 billion to 34.6 billion dollars. That was based on a range of 1.2 trillion yen to 2.8 trillion yen, converted at 81.85 yen to the US dollar. (ANI + other agencies)

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