Death toll in Japan quake nears 4,000 - police

Death toll in Japan quake nears 4,000 - police
# 16 March 2011 04:54 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. More than 3,600 people died and over 7,500 are missing in the wake of a series of natural disasters that hit Japan last week, police authorities reported on Wednesday, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.

"As of 08.00 local time [on Wednesday], 3676 people died and 7,558 are considered missing," a police source told RIA Novosti.

About 1,990 people received various injuries, he said.

Large parts of eastern Japan were left devastated after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast on Friday, sparking a powerful tsunami.

A series of aftershocks have since caused blasts and fires at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Complex, raising fears of a nuclear meltdown.

Japanese media reported a new fire at Fukushima plant early on Wednesday. Local television showed white smoke pouring from the No.4 reactor at mid-morning.

The previous fire at the 4th reactor of the plant on Tuesday resulted in the leak of radiation.

Japanese authorities suspended on Wednesday operations to prevent the possible nuclear meltdown after a surge in radiation made it too dangerous for workers to remain at the facility.

The government also evacuated all residents within a 20 kilometer radius of the Fukushima plant, and announced a no-fly zone over the plant to avoid the spread of radiation.

Fears of a large-scale nuclear disaster remain high in Japan as the country continues desperate efforts to contain the looming crisis.
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