On Tuesday morning a 5.8-magnitude earth quake shook a large swath of northern Italy, killing around 15 people. The initial reports indicate that the quake also brought down buildings in the area already damaged by an earthquake that struck the area a week ago.
The latest earth quake struck at 8:30 am when many more local businesses and factories were open. This is likely to result in higher death toll in the latest earthquake in Italy. The tremors were reported to have felt as far away as Austria. The center of the quake is believed to be approximately 25 miles (40km) north-west of Bologna, near Mirandola, close to where a 6-magnitude quake struck in the early hours of 20 May, which killed seven people.
According to Guardian,
In Cavezzo’s old city centre, several buildings and the back half of the city church were reduced to rubble. Tents had been set up near the town’s sports complex and cots laid out in the tennis courts. Frightened residents sat or stood outside their homes, unsure of their next steps.
“I ran out of the fruit and vegetable store where I work as everything was falling off the shelves,” said Marzia Dondi, 42, as she stood outside her home with her two sons, aged 15 and 9. “We haven’t slept inside since last Sunday’s quake. We’re afraid to go back in. What a disaster. We were finally starting to calm down.”
Rescue workers are searching for survivors at the quake hit area. Authorities have asked the people not to panic and have faith in their rescue operations.
Yukiya Amano, Chief of the U.N.’s nuclear energy agency reveals that Japan is trying its best to cool the nuclear reactors after its cooling systems failed following devastating earthquake and tsunami in the country. The nuk chief stated this after observing the situation in Tokyo and a talk with the Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
The UN diplomat says that the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant was more serious that what he predicted. The Japanese authorities are still trying to cool the reactor, whereas the unprecedented rise in temperature at reactors is exposing the spent fuel rods that are lying in empty pool in the reactor.
Japan has been offered assistance for assessing the dangers of Fukushima by the United States. It has also recommended a 50-mile evacuation zone for precautionary measure to avoid effects of harmful nuclear radiations from the plant, revealed the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jazcko. To regain control over the plant, a new power line is being laid to the plant to restore cooling system for the reactors, however its operators, Tokyo Electric Power Co. has already missed the deadline it set to complete the restoration work.
The Group of Seven industrialized nations has also offered to help Japan in this need of crisis and reinstall all infrastructure that has been devastated by the Friday earthquake.
However this effort would be focused on intervention on the currency market to weaken Japanese Yen and help Japan to gain from its exports.
Japanese emperor calls on people to keep hope
Following the devastating earthquake and Tsunami Japanese Emperor Akihito urges people not to give up their hopes.
The emperor, who rarely appears in public called on Japanese people to stay calm and united at this time of crisis when Tsunami and earthquake has devastated Japan and people are fearing nuclear catastrophe following failure of cooling systems at two nuclear plants of the country due to quake.
The 77-year-old emperor usually gives televised speech at the time of war or extreme crisis.
He supported Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s statement that this was worst crisis for Japan ever since the Second World War.
He assured Japanese people of international community’s support in this crisis and appreciated them for staying calm.
King’s speech was televised on the same day when Fukushima Daiichi’s nuclear plant was damaged and white smoke and fire coming from the reactors panicked people. More than 15000 people have been evacuated from the areas adjacent to nuclear plants to avoid radiation aftermath though experts are still denying possibility of any radiation catastrophe.
The reactor No. 4 was found with flames on Wednesday morning that raised concerns of dangerous radiation as spent fuel rods were lying in an uncovered pool inside.
Radiation level is being monitored at the plant and the area has been evacuated as a precautionary measure as the radiation level has been found fluctuating.
China Assists Japan Following Friday Earthquake, Tsunami
Many Chinese nationals are stranded in Japan’s worst affected areas by Friday earthquake. China has taken initiative to evacuate its citizens from the quake areas.
China’s embassy in Japan revealed that they would evacuate Chinese nationals from the areas that might be affected by the damages in nuclear reactors and other surrounding areas.
However, the embassy clearly denied the chances of any radiation being emitted by the nuclear reactors due to damage of cooling system following the quake and tsunami. Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection is continuously supervising the developments at Fuushima Number One Plant, where the cooling system failed after Tsunami.
So far on Tuesday morning the Chinese nuclear safety agency has not detected any abnormal radiation from the reactors.
There was a fear that radiation might spread through winds over the Pacific Ocean and China May remain on the safer side, stated Chinese Meteorological Administration.
There was a slight increase in radiation level in Russia on Tuesday; however it stayed under normal levels, stated Russian authorities.
South Korea also stated that the radiations have remained under normal level so far; however it is taking precautionary measures by keeping vigil over incoming passengers at Incheon airport.
South Korean authorities added that according to the weather forecast, westerly and north-westerly winds were expected to blow to Japan very soon.
China has taken immediate initiative by sending rescuers and aid assistance to Japan after the devastating earthquake of magnitude 8.5 at Rictor scale and tsunami last Friday. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao expressed deep concerns and sympathy to Japan despite unfriendly relations with Beijing.
Friday earthquake devastated Japan
Following the Fierce earthquake on Friday, Japan declares states of emergency for five nuclear reactors.
The aftermath of earthquake resulted in loss of cooling abilities at two power plants. Thousands of workers and residents have been evacuated from the adjacent areas.
At the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s Unit 1, workers struggled hard to control melting and decrease temperature and pressure in the reactors. The Friday earthquake that had a 8.9 magnitude and following tsunami led to power cuts and disabled all emergency generators, which failed the entire cooling system of reactors.
Around 3,000 people living within a sphere of two miles were evacuated initially however the sphere of evacuation was raised to 10 kilometers when experts feared that radion level might spread more.
It is first time ever in Japan’s history that the government has declared a state of emergency at a nuclear plant. Initially only the Daiichi unit — was declared in emergency zone but after few hours, the Tokyo Electric Power Co., lost its cooling ability. It operates 6 reactors at Daiichi in Northeast Japan.
Therefore now more than 14000 people have been evacuated living near these two plants. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency diesel generators are dysfunctional due to flooding by tsunami; this is why the cooling systems have failed.