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6.4 quake rocks Tokyo area

March 15, 2011 at 1:48 PM   |   Comments

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Video: Nuclear fears grow after explosions
Video: Nuclear fears grow after explosions
TOKYO, March 15 (UPI) -- Japan, reeling from a disastrous earthquake-tsunami in the northeast, had a quake Tuesday in an area that includes Tokyo -- this one recorded at magnitude 6.4.

Officials said at least one person was injured and fire broke out in a hotel but no tsunami warnings were issued and no damage was reported at power plants in the area, Kyodo News reported.

The quake was centered about 62 miles southwest of Tokyo.

Service on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line bullet train was temporarily suspended between Shinagawa and Hamamatsu stations and sections of the Tomei and Chuo expressways also were closed temporarily, Kyodo reported.

Aftershocks have continued since a massive magnitude-9 quake and tsunami struck in the northeast part of the country, killing thousands of people and causing widespread destruction.

The confirmed death toll at one point Tuesday was 2,475, police said, but other reports gave a far higher number. Tens of thousands were homeless.

Japan's national police agency reported at least 3,611 people remained missing

There have been numerous aftershocks, more than two-dozen of them -- -- like the Tokyo-area quake -- that had a magnitude higher than 6, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

International nuclear regulatory officials expressed concern about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was rocked by a series of explosions and fires after the initial quake, The Guardian reported.

Officials, concerned about radiation leaks, directed more than 140,000 residents in a 12-to-18-mile radius of the Fukushima plant to remain indoors. Residents below the 12-mile circle were ordered to leave, officials told The Guardian.

"A worrisome situation remains but I hope to take the lead in overcoming this crisis," Prime Minister Naoto Kan said.

The United States announced it was sending a group of nuclear experts to Japan this week to assist with emergencies at the stricken nuclear plant.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a written statement it sent a deputy regional commissioner from its construction inspection division and other experts in reactor technology to Japan. They will join two other NRC staff experts already working with Japanese engineers.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said it "remains concerned over the status of the [Fukushima Daiichi plant], where seawater injections to cool the reactors in units 1, 2 and 3 are continuing," The Guardian reported.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog said it still was seeking details about the status of "all workers, reactors and spent fuel at the Fukushima Daiichi plant that witnessed three explosions and a fire."

The IAEA said all units at other nuclear plants, including the Fukushima Daini, Onagawa and Tokai facilities, were in "a safe and stable condition."

The World Meteorological organization said winds were carrying radioactive material from the Fukushima plant over the Pacific Ocean away from Japan and other Asian countries, The Guardian reported.

Topics: Naoto Kan
© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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