March 13, 2011 — FUKUSHIMA, Japan – After the biggest quake ever recorded in Japan unleashed a monster tsunami, the fragile public braces for a possible meltdown of two reactors at a quake-hit nuclear plant as the death toll from the disaster that hit the northeast coast is expected to exceed 10,000.
On Saturday, the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant blew open the building that housed one of its reactors. Emergency crews struggled to prevent overheating at a second reactor. Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the situation remained grave, and that Japan was facing its worst crisis since the end of the Second World War. Millions of people are still without electricity because Japan’s nuclear industry provides about a third of its power needs.
The UN reported that a total of 590,000 people had been evacuated in and around the quake and tsunami disaster areas.
The colossal 8.9-magnitude “superquake” was 8000 times more powerful than the one that recently hit Christchurch in New Zealand. The force of the ensuing tsunami sent waves of churning mud and debris racing over towns and farmland in Japan’s northeast, consuming everything in its path.
Stephen McDonald who is leading Save the Children’s response to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan said, “We are extremely anxious for at least 70,000 children who have been displaced because of last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami. Many of them will have lost their homes and been forced to take refuge in unfamiliar places like evacuation centres that might cause them to be afraid and anxious.”
Paul Turner, director of Food for Life Global said, “Our organisation was there to help during the Asian Tsunami of 2004 and so we expect to do much the same in Japan. The challenge is great but we are hopeful that the public will rally behind our volunteers to feed as many people as possible. Anyone wishing to volunteer, please contact us now.”
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