Japan Earthquake Aftershocking

April 12, 2011 by staff 

Japan Earthquake Aftershocking, Three strong aftershocks struck northeastern Japan on Monday as nervous, and a strong earthquake shook Tokyo and surrounding areas early Thursday when the government announced new plans to expand the evacuation area near a nuclear power plant affected by high levels of radiation.

Japan is trying to rebuild after an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 on March 11 caused a tsunami that killed thousands and left many others homeless. The tsunami also caused several fires and explosions in central Dai-ichi Fukushima nuclear isotopes that have leaked hazardous air, soil and water.

Today, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said a small fire near a building of the reactor was shut down quickly. It was unclear whether the fire was related to the earthquake of 6.3 magnitudes that hit Tokyo today. The first of the tremors on Monday, which some victims trapped in collapsed homes and vehicles, occurred at 17:16 near the coast of Fukushima prefecture, registering magnitude 7.1 at a depth of miles underground, according to Japan Meteorological Agency.

Magnitude 6.0 earthquakes hit a minute later in the same area, followed by another – of a magnitude-5.6 quake – nine minutes later.

Aftershocks continued hours later, the agency said. In neighboring Ibaraki Prefecture, a man died after falling and hitting his head during the quake, according to fire department Ryugasaki.

The earthquake also triggered a landslide that buried three houses in the city of Iwaki. A 16-year-old died in the landslide, and three other men were pulled from the wreckage unconscious and taken to a hospital, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edan said Monday that the government would expand an evacuation area of?? 12 miles near the nuclear plant, joining the thousands who have already said they leave their homes.

A month after the disaster, more than 145,000 people still living in shelters, and the government added five communities to a list of places people should quit to avoid exposure to radiation over time.

Japan also decided to raise the level of seriousness of the nuclear crisis 5-7 – the highest level and equal to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the former Soviet Union, Kyodo News and NHK said today.

An official of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, who was not identified, said the amount of radiation escaping from the plant in Fukushima Dai-ichi was about 10 percent of the Chernobyl accident.

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