Japan Fights to Avoid Nuclear Disaster; Death Toll From Tsunami Could Top 10,000


Japan is facing what prime minister Naoto Kan called its “toughest and most difficult crisis” since World War II, as workers struggle to prevent meltdowns in two reactors at the Fukushima power plant. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said that a third reactor would possibly experience an explosion like that of yesterday. 200,000 people have been evacuated from the surrounding areas. Nineteen people have reportedly been exposed to radiation, and three of them were hospitalized. The prime minister ordered a Tokyo power company to enact power outages in order to preserve energy. [CNN, NYT]

The police chief of Miyagi prefecture told disaster relief officials that the death toll would probably reach 10,000. The official count right now is 1,200 killed, 739 missing. [AP]

Japan’s government mobilized 100,000 soldiers to deliver necessary supplies to survivors. The numbers are staggering: 1.8 million people have been left without power nationwide, and 1.4 million have gone without water. Thousands of survivors are taking shelter in schools and stadiums to avoid freezing. Sixty-nine countries have offered aid to Japan. [Reuters]

The Times has an interactive map that lets you click on different areas to see photos and information on how they were affected by the quake and tsunami. [NYT]

Horrifyingly, there is a strong chance of a 7.0-magnitude quake hitting Japan in the next three days, according to an expert. [CNN]

Over half the population of the town of Minamisanriku is unaccounted for after the quake — that’s 10,000 people missing in one town alone. The video, of Minamisanriku before and after the disaster, is shocking.

Reposting again the list of ways you can help:

Donate to the Red Cross or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone.

You can text ‘JAPAN’ or ‘QUAKE’ to 80888 to make a $10 donation to the Salvation Army.

Global Giving has a disaster relief fund; you can donate online.

Doctors Without Borders is sending folks to Japan to help.

In New York, Mayor Bloomberg’s Fund To Advance New York City is accepting donations that will go to help victims.