• 55°

Japan plant spews radiation in crisis escalation

SOMA, Japan (AP) — Radiation spewed this morning from a crippled nuclear power plant in tsunami-ravaged northeastern Japan in a dramatic escalation of the four-day-old catastrophe, forcing the government to tell people nearby to stay indoors to avoid exposure.

In a nationally televised statement, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said radiation has spread from four reactors of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Fukushima province that was one of the hardest-hit in Friday’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami.

“The level seems very high, and there is still a very high risk of more radiation coming out,” Kan said.

This is the worst nuclear crisis Japan has faced since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.

Kan warned there are dangers of more leaks and told people living within 19 miles of the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex to stay indoors to avoid radiation sickness.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said a fourth reactor at the complex was on fire and more radiation had been released.

He said the reactor, even though it was unoperational, was believed to be the source of the elevated radiation release because of the hydrogen release that triggered the fire.

“Now we are talking about levels that can damage human health. These are readings taken near the area where we believe the releases are happening. Far away, the levels should be lower,” he said.

“Please do not go outside. Please stay indoors. Please close windows and make your homes airtight. Don’t turn on ventilators. Please hang on your laundry indoors,” he said.

“These are figures that potentially affect health, there is no mistake about that,” he said.

He said a reactor whose containment building caught fire Monday has not contributed greatly to the increased radiation.

The radiation level around one of the reactors stood at 400,000 microsiverts per hour, four times higher than the safe level.

Officials said 50 workers are still there trying to put water into the reactors to cool them. They say 800 other nonessential staff were evacuated

The death toll from last week’s earthquake and tsunami jumped Tuesday as police confirmed the number killed had topped 2,400, though that grim news was overshadowed by a deepening nuclear crisis. Officials have said previously that at least 10,000 people may have died in Miyagi province alone.

———

Kurtenbach reported from Tokyo.

News

Supervisors approve contract for new engineering firm

COVID-19

State reports new COVID-19 cases, deaths

News

Adams County seeks study for new fire stations

News

Jackson State band to perform in Biden inauguration event

COVID-19

Bailey appointed interim tax collector until November special election

News

Supervisors reappoint Phillip West to Natchez school board

News

Harbor Freight showing job listings for new Natchez location

COVID-19

Coroner: Two more people died with COVID-19 Sunday at Merit Health Natchez

News

CPSO deputy finds his dog shot in his backyard

News

Missing teen found

News

Former Natchez Mayor Butch Brown off of ventilator in Jackson ICU

COVID-19

State reports 1,606 new COVID cases and 40 new COVID related deaths

News

Natchez native pens third installment of murder series

News

Photo Gallery: ACCS student celebrates birthday with drive-thru party

COVID-19

State reports 2,680 new COVID-19 cases, 70 new COVID related deaths

News

Wreck on St. Catherine Street takes out pole

News

Merit Health nurse of 23 years dies with COVID-19 complications

News

Girl Scout cookie time is here for Adams County

News

Brookhaven woman linked to over 15 ounces meth arrested in Adams County

News

Concordia Parish deputies uncover 14 stolen firearms after traffic stop

COVID-19

State reports 1,948 new COVID-19 cases, 41 new deaths amid vaccine shortage

COVID-19

State experiencing surge in patients attempting COVID-19 vaccination

News

Movie filmed in Natchez hits screens Feb. 12

News

Three finalists chosen for Executive Director in Natchez tourism commission