Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Why Are So Many Children Dying in Gaza?'

Read more

  • Air Algerie ‘lost contact’ with flight leaving Burkina Faso

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • France charges Swiss bank UBS with tax fraud

    Read more

  • Israel faces heightened diplomatic pressure as Gaza violence rages

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Netherlands holds day of mourning for victims of flight MH17

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • Ryanair ordered to pay back €9.6m in illegal state aid to France

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Fukushima nuclear plant escapes typhoon damage

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-09-21

Typhoon Roke killed six people on Wednesday when it struck northeastern Japan, disrupting public transport and battering the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant although the plant escaped further damage, its operators said.

AFP - A powerful typhoon smashed into Japan on Wednesday churning through the stricken Fukushima nuclear power station but failed to damage the already battered plant, its operators said.

The typhoon, which was packing winds of up to 180 kilometres (111 miles) per hour, has killed at least six people and a million were initially warned to leave their homes over fears torrential rains could cause widespread flooding.

At around 10:00pm (1300 GMT) Typhoon Roke was centred 280 kilometres northeast of Tokyo, moving through the area that was devastated by a record earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that sparked nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled, ferry and rail services were suspended and roads closed as the country prepared for the full impact of the storm.

Roke comes less than a month after another vicious typhoon barrelled through Japan, killing around 100 people in one of the deadliest storms the country has seen in decades and heaping more misery on the disaster-weary nation.

By late Wednesday, the typhoon passed through the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where workers raced to protect buildings and reactors that are leaking radiation.

In a further demonstration of the forces of nature faced by Japan a 5.3-magnitude tremor struck near the Fukushima plant soon after the storm roared through, but there was no immediate report of damage following the jolt.

"We have not received any reports of abnormality or trouble following the typhoon and the latest quake," said Hajime Motojuku, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the plant on the northeast coast.

"Our cooling system is also working normally, but we need to double-check tomorrow morning if there is actually no damage to outer walls and other parts of the facilities," Motojuku said.

As the storm hurtled towards the plant, operations on the ground and at sea were suspended while workers relocated crane trucks and stretched tarpaulin to protect areas of buildings from rain.

Around 20,000 people are thought to have died along the coast when the March tsunami rolled in, wreaking billions of dollars of damage.

The nuclear plant was sent into meltdown after its cooling systems were swamped by the waves, sending radiation into the air, sea and food chain in the world's worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl.

Six people have so far been found dead in central and western Japan in the latest calamity, NHK reported, while six others are missing.

The public broadcaster said 199 people had been injured as torrential rain battered some areas and caused flooding in others.

Prefectures across eastern Japan issued landslide warnings, telling people to stay away from areas at risk. A tornado warning was temporarily raised across the Tokyo area.

Many of the initial evacuation advisories were dropped by Wednesday lunchtime, but remained in force for around 200,000 people nationwide.

Auto giant Toyota temporarily shut 11 of its 15 Japanese plants, which lie in the path of the storm.

"The second (afternoon) shift is stopped. (It is) not resuming today," company spokesman Dion Corbert told AFP adding that production was expected to resume on Thursday.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries temporarily closed five of its aviation and engine plants in central Japan due to the storm, a company spokesman said.

"The rain and wind is raging out there and people on the street were staggering," Yoshinori Ito, a spokesman with Hamamatsu City, in the centre of the country, said by phone.

TV footage showed residents in places walking through streets knee-deep in water.

A number of expressways were closed and ferry services that ply routes between the many islands that make up Japan had been stopped. Around 450 flights were cancelled, grounding more than 45,000 passengers.

Central Japan Railway and East Japan Railway were suspending a number of services, including some bullet trains, but did not know how many passengers would be affected, officials said.
 

Date created : 2011-09-21

  • Japan

    A moment of silence as Japan marks six months since tsunami

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    Fukushima area may be off limits for 'a long time'

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    Parliament confirms Noda as new prime minister

    Read more

COMMENT(S)