Japan Earthquake Update

By: AP
By: AP

KORIYAMA, Japan (AP) - More than 180,000 people have been
evacuated from the area around a Japanese nuclear plant where a
partial meltdown may have occurred.

Officials are offering limited and sometimes conflicting information. One official says the core in one reactor has partially melted, despite frantic efforts to keep it cool. Authorities at the Fukushima plant have resorted to using sea water to cool a two reactors in an attempt to prevent meltdowns.

Several reactors are in danger of overheating after Friday's earthquake knocked out power.

The U.N. nuclear agency says authorities have declared a state of emergency at a second plant. It says higher-than-permitted levels of radioactivity have been measured at the Onagawa power plant and the source is being investigated. All three reactors at the plant are said to be under control.

Meanwhile, a Japanese utility report that one of two pumps in the cooling system at a third nuclear plant has failed. Japan Atomic Power says the reactor is operating normally on the one pump, and there's no risk of a radiation leak.


SENDAI, Japan (AP) - Temperatures have begun to sink toward freezing in northeastern Japan, compounding the misery for survivors coping without water, electricity or proper food in the region battered by Friday's tsunami.

Japan's prime minister says the country is facing its most severe challenge since World War II. Officials say at least 1,400 people were killed. But the police chief of Miyagi state says the death toll there alone could pass 10,000.

Japanese troops today rescued a survivor about 10 miles offshore. The tsunami had swept the 60-year-old man out to sea as he clung to the roof of his home. The man told his rescuers that he and his wife were trying to gather their belongings when the tsunami hit. She was swept away.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Electric Power says it will ration electricity with rolling blackouts in parts of Tokyo and other cities. The planned blackouts of about three hours each will start tomorrow. They are meant to help make up for a severe shortfall after key nuclear plants were left inoperable due to the earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.


HONOLULU (AP) - A tsunami warning has been extended to the entire U.S. West Coast following a massive earthquake that slammed
Japan's eastern coast.

Friday's 8.9 magnitude jolt struck offshore and was followed by more than 20 aftershocks.

The quake spawned a powerful tsunami, sweeping away boats, cars,
homes and people along Japan's coast. Widespread fires are burning out of control, including one at an oil refinery.

Utility officials say there's a turbine building fire at a nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.

Disaster officials say more than two dozen people have been killed with the death toll rising.

Japan's chief government spokesman says there's enormous damage and troops are being sent to the region.

In downtown Tokyo, large buildings shook violently and workers poured into the street for safety.

The tremor event bent the upper tip of the iconic Tokyo Tower, a 1,093-foot steel structure inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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