Japan quake toll rises to 13,392

April 14th, 2011 - 12:07 am ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, April 13 (IANS) The devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan March 11 has left 13,392 people dead, while 15,133 were still unaccounted for till Wednesday evening, the National Police Agency said.

About 139,000 survivors were now staying in 2,300 shelters across the country, Xinhua reported.

The massive quake led to three explosions and a fire at four reactors of the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Authorities have been battling to keep the power plant under control. On Tuesday, the Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant’s operator, said the consequences of the accident at the plant may ultimately exceed the level of Chernobyl.

The crisis level was raised from five to seven, the worst on an international scale.

Level-7 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) has so far only been applied to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

The level describes an accident as a “major event” and leads to “a major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects”.

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