Tsuyoshi Inajima, Yuji Okada and Aaron Sheldrick
March 13, 2011
Japan grappled to contain its worst nuclear accident in at least 33 years at a plant north of Tokyo as local media said the death toll from the nation’s biggest earthquake and ensuing tsunami may top 10,000.
Radiation levels around the Tokyo Electric Power Co. station in Fukushima, 135 miles north of the capital, rose after cooling systems at a second reactor failed, heightening concerns about a possible meltdown following an explosion there yesterday. Water levels fell at a third reactor, raising the possibility of a hydrogen explosion there, Japan’s top government spokesman said today.
The 8.9-magnitude temblor and subsequent tsunami may have killed 10,000 in Miyagi prefecture north of Tokyo, national broadcaster NHK reported, citing local police. The official toll reached 977, with 739 more missing and 1,683 injured, the National Police Agency said. More than 350,000 people are in emergency shelters.