Japan upgrades nuke emergency to highest level 7, says disaster as bad as Chernobyl

April 12th, 2011 - 12:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Tokyo, Apr 12 (ANI): Japan’s nuclear authorities have raised the nuclear emergency level at the Fukushima nuclear plant to seven on par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, described as the world’s worst ever-peacetime nuclear event.

The Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine involved an explosion and a fire that released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, which spread over much of Western Russia and Europe.

It was the only one classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale until the Fukushima nuclear accident of March 2011.

The Fukushima nuclear plant has been releasing large amounts of radioactive material in the wake of last month’s massive earthquake and tsunami, which is about 10 per cent of that in the Chernobyl accident, news.com.au reports.

The 6.2 magnitude tremor hit 77 kilometres east of Tokyo on Tuesday and swayed buildings in the capital, temporarily shutting down subway services and halting bullet trains. US geologists originally put the magnitude at 6.4.

The latest quake that struck Japan was an aftershock of the 9.0-magnitude quake of March 11 that killed more than 13,000 and left more than 13,500 missing.

Japan has experienced over 400 aftershocks stronger than magnitude 5.0 in last month. (ANI)

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