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."