So far more than 8,000 people have been confirmed dead in Japan, but some 13,000 or more are still missing. In addition, nearly 500,000 Japanese have been displaced by the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear crisis. Now, 11 days after that initial impact from the tsunami and quake, aid workers are shifting from rescue to relief missions, helping those who have been left behind.
The tsunami came too quickly. Japan's coastal towns had only a 30-minute warning, which was barely enough time to escape the wave, and for many disabled citizens, not enough time at all. The disabled are among the most vulnerable victims of the recent destruction in Japan. Yukiko and Shoji Nakanishi are members of a Japanese relief organization that is working tirelessly to provide shelter and evacuation support to northern Japan's disabled populations.
It’s been a week since the earthquake and tsunami devastated Northern Japan. So far, the disaster has claimed nearly 5,700 lives and 9,500 people are still missing. As relief organizations try to clear away the rubble, there’s yet another crisis hitting the country: hunger. Severely damaged roads and broken supply lines have caused food shortages throughout the region.
The Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory Jaczko has responded to the nuclear crisis in Japan, “In a comparable situation in the United States, we would have issued evacuation instructions to a larger, larger distance away from the plant," he said. Reuters correspondent Dan Sloan reports with the latest from Tokyo.
A steam explosion at the Fukushima power plant early Tuesday morning led to a fire that released large amounts of radioactive materials into the atmosphere. However, officials say that radiation levels have dropped to a safe level. All but 50 workers have been evacuated and the remaining workers are trying to keep the reactors cool. Reuters correspondent Dan Sloan reports from Chiba, Japan.
Most of Japan's power plants have shut down and are cooling normally, but an emergency has been declared at the Fukushima power plant. There is no damage, but the power plant has malfunctioned. Ian Hore-Lacy, director for public communications for the World Nuclear Association explains what will happen with this state of emergency. "I don't think it's going to be a serious danger," Hore-Lacy says. Daniel Sloan, Reuters correspondent reports from Tokyo.