Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan Quake Toll May Reach Tens of Thousands

AP has that tsunami video that was replayed over and over on cable this afternoon.

And there's dramatic coverage at Los Angeles Times, "
Japan quake toll could number in tens of thousands":

Reporting from Sendai, Japan, and Tokyo - With a death toll expected to climb into the tens of thousands, more than a half-million people displaced and a nuclear crisis continuing to unfold, rescuers converged Monday on Japan's devastated earthquake zone while workers in relatively unaffected areas struggled to return to offices and factories.

A new explosion rocked the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex, wire services reported, sending a plume of smoke into the air. Japan's nuclear safety agency said it could not confirm whether the hydrogen explosion at the plant's No. 3 reactor had led to an uncontrolled leak of radioactivity.

The government reported Monday that radiation levels again rose above legal limits outside the crippled nuclear complex at quake-battered Fukushima, about 150 miles north of Tokyo, where authorities have been pumping seawater into overheated reactors to try to cool them down. Several other nuclear installations were under close watch for potential problems.

Across a wide swath of earthquake-hit territory, hundreds of thousands of hungry survivors roused themselves from a third cold night spent huddled in darkened emergency centers, cut off from rescuers, aid and electricity. At least 1.4 million households had gone without water since the quake struck and some 1.9 million households were without power. Rolling blackouts to conserve energy were scheduled across much of the country on Monday.
The developments there have been rapid fire and overwhelming. Danger of radiation fallout is now exacerbated by news of a volcanic eruption. And the New York Times reports, "Minister Calls Disaster Country’s Worst Since WWII." See also, "Radioactive Releases in Japan Could Last Months, Experts Say." (More at Hot Air and Memeorandum.)