09/21/2011, 00.00
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Typhoon Allarm: Roke threatens nuclear power plant in Fukushima

Over a million Japanese on alert for the typhoon. Ready an evacuation plan which also affects the atomic plant hit by the tsunami last March. For the experts Roke will not cause damages, but fears remain. So far, five victims, either dead or missing. In August, the Japanese trade deficit widens more than expected.
Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A powerful typhoon threatens the northeast coast of Japan, already hit by an earthquake in March, followed by a devastating tsunami that caused the nuclear accident in Fukushima. The alarm went out this morning, but already in the past few days Typhoon Roke has left five people in it its wake, either dead or missing, swept away by rivers swollen from heavy rain. The storm has generated winds around 216 km/h, which will lash the city of Tokyo, to then fall on the Tohoku region, where the Fukushima Daiichi facility is located.

Takeo Iwamoto, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power, which operates the nuclear station, says that the typhoon will not damage the reactors' cooling system, essential to prevent new leaks of nuclear material. Meanwhile, Japanese media have reported that more than one million people have received evacuation warnings, throughout the country, because their homes could be flooded by the waters or buried in mud. The Japanese newspaper “Mainichi” writes that least 1.4 million people have received the warning of a possible evacuation, but according to “Yomiuri”, another Japanese daily, 1.2 million citizens would be affected by the typhoon. The city of Nagoya has temporarily withdrawn the alarm for his 880,000 inhabitants, but the decision to evacuate could be reissued in the coming hours.

Natural disasters - as well as the global economic crisis - are prostrating the Japanese economy. Today, news arrived of August's increase in the trade deficit, despite a partial recovery in exports. The deficit reached 775.3 billion yen, or 10 billion dollars, the highest figure ever reached in a month. In 2010 the balance was positive and around 63.8 billion yen. Figures provided by the Ministry of Finance showed a figure much higher than the one forecast by experts, about 300 billion yen. The export sector has been hit hard following the nuclear accident on March 11; with regard to imports, the value increased by 19.2%, reaching 6.13 trillion yen.
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