Mais um terremoto no Japão (6,5 de magnitude)

Não sou especialista no assunto, mas parece que a área conhecida como “Círculo de Fogo do Pacífico” está particularmente instável nas últimas semanas. Foram vários terremotos desde o grande de 11 de março…

O Brasil é, realmente, um país abençoado! Se nosso povo colaborasse…

BBC News
28 March 2011 Last updated at 00:43 GMT – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12877198?print=true

New Japan earthquake prompts tsunami warning

Another earthquake off the north-east coast of Japan has shaken the already devastated region.

The 6.5-magnitude quake, 109km (67 miles) east of the badly-damaged port city of Sendai, prompted a brief warning of a possible small tsunami.

map

A much stronger earthquake on 11 March and the powerful tsunami it triggered killed more than 10,000 people and left many thousands more missing.

Workers are battling to stop radiation leaks at a badly damaged nuclear plant.

There have been no reports of damage or injuries from the latest earthquake, which struck at 0723 on Monday (2223 GMT Sunday), according to the US Geological Survey.

The Japan Meteorological Agency warned that a tsunami of 50cm (18 inches) could hit Miyagi prefecture but later lifted the advisory.

Unease

The operators of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant on Sunday apologised for a “mistake” in reporting a radiation spike 10 million times above normal in one of the site’s reactors.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said a worker taking the reading in a part of reactor 2’s cooling system had no time to confirm with a second reading because the radiation level was so high anyway he had to leave the area.

“The number is not credible. We are very sorry,” said Tepco spokesman Takashi Kurita.

A spokesman for Japan’s nuclear watchdog, Hidehiko Nishiyama, said the level of radiation in puddles near reactor 2 was confirmed at 1,000 millisieverts an hour.

“It is an extremely high figure,” Mr Nishiyama said.

The radiation levels are so high, that emergency workers near the contaminated water would have received four times their maximum annual dose of radiation in just one hour.

The BBC’s Mark Worthington in Tokyo says the erroneous report has created more confusion around a crisis that is already causing widespread unease in the country.

On Sunday, anti-nuclear protesters held a large rally in Tokyo, calling for change in Japan’s nuclear industry.

Meanwhile, efforts are continuing to locate the exact source of the radioactive water leak, amid concerns that the water is leaking directly from the reactor itself.

Earlier, Japan’s nuclear agency said that levels of radioactive iodine in the sea near the plant had risen to 1,850 times the usual level.

The emergency workers are also trying to cool the reactors in an effort to prevent a meltdown. They have now switched to using fresh water as a coolant, rather than sea water.

There had been fears the salt in sea water could further corrode machinery. The fresh water is being pumped in so that contaminated radioactive water can be extracted.

The UN’s nuclear agency International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has warned the crisis could go on for months.

However, the government in Tokyo has said that airborne radiation around the plant is decreasing, so there is no need to extend the evacuation zone.

Tepco has been criticised for a lack of transparency and failing to provide information more promptly and for making a number of mistakes, including worker clothing.