» 09/10/2015, 00.00
Emergency typhoon in Japan: 100 thousand displaced, tons of radioactive water spilled into sea
Etau hit the archipelago yesterday, causing torrential rains that flooded several prefectures. Tochigi and Ibaraki and the most affected. Torrents of water invade the contaminated Fukushima nuclear plant, and end up in the ocean. Drainage pumps are not enough.
Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Tens of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate due to heavy rains that hit the country in the wake of Typhoon Etau. The environmental crisis is aggravated by the fact that hundreds of tons of water contaminated by radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant are pouring into the ocean. At the moment there are 12 wounded, including a 77 year old woman who fell because of the strong winds, and broke her leg. Some people are missing, probably he submerged by mud. Meteorologist, Takuya Deshimaru, said: "We have never experienced storms of this magnitude before."
Typhoon Etau hit the shores of the archipelago on Wednesday, and then spun off toward the Sea of Japan, leaving downpours in its wake that, in Tochigi prefecture, pushed up the water level to 60 cm. The Japanese Meteorological Agency has declared a state of alert and in Ibraki prefecture, north of Tokyo, a warning of the danger of mudslides and flooding.
Tochigi authorities have ordered 90 thousand residents to evacuate their homes, while other 116 thousand were also encouraged to do so. According to the national television NHK, in Ibaraki prefecture 20 thousand people were evacuated. The meteorological observatory Tochigi said that today the Kinugawa River, which also flows through Ibaraki, has overflowed.
The continuous torrent of rain water is complicating the already difficult situation in Fukushima where, according to an operator of the Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the drainage pumps are not able to evacuate all the water that is pouring into the plant, becoming contaminated and damaging the 'surrounding environment. Since 2011, the Tempco has been in charge of storing tons of radioactive water used to cool the reactors at the plant, destroyed by the tsunami.
Prime Minister Abe, speaking to the press, assured that "the government will remain united and will do its best to deal with the disaster, making the saving of human life our highest priority."
Four years after disaster, government "reopens" Fukushima zone
The government has removed the evacuation order from Naraha, a town near the reactors affected by the tsunami in 2011. The population can return to their homes. But only 10 of the more than 7 thousand residents have announced a desire to return. Fear of contamination is still too strong.
Japan, typhoon Talas leaves dozens dead or missing
The government has set up an emergency task force and evacuation order for 460 thousand people. It is the most destructive typhoon since 2004. The provisional toll of about 27 confirmed dead and at least 54 missing.
Typhoon Nabi moves to Hokkaido leaving more than 18 people dead and 140 wounded
At least 300,000 people have been evacuated, more than 1000 homes have crumbled and 11,400 have been flooded.
Naoto Kan, building a new, improved Japan
The tsunami tragedy has highlighted the three characteristics that allow the Japanese people to deal with major crises: a strong collective ability to assimilate other cultures and values and higher education. And the noble acceptance of suffering together to control their own feelings.
Sea near Fukushima contaminated. Radiation 1,250 times over safety limit
Radioactive iodine leaked from the plant could also damage ground water beneath the reactors. The Japanese Agency for nuclear safety reduces alert level and hopes for a quick re-absorption of radiation by tides. According to Prime Minister Khan, the situation remains unpredictable.
VATICAN - ASIA
The world is in urgent need of the Church's mission
October is a month devoted to awakening the call to mission among Christians. In the world there is indifference or enmity towards God and the Church. Religions are considered the source of all wars. Christianity is the encounter with a Person who changes the life of the believer and places him at the service of the wounds of the world, torn by frustrations and fratricidal wars. The example of the Patriarch of Baghdad and of the President of South Korea.
12/10/2017 HONG KONG - CHINA
12/10/2017 VATICAN - ITALY
13/10/2017 VATICAN - LEBANON
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.