Japan Times, April 14

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source : Japan Times .

Tsunami hit more than 100 designated evacuation sites

More than 100 evacuation sites designated by local governments were swept away or inundated by the tsunami triggered by the March 11 earthquake just off the Tohoku region's coast, according to a tally compiled by Kyodo News.

Many people are thought to have lost their lives after fleeing to those sites, believing they would be safe, but no data have so far been collected on the death toll at those places.

There have been no moves so far among citizens to hold local governments responsible for designating those sites, apparently because the scale of the tsunami was beyond what had been foreseen.

But calls will likely grow for a review of locations of evacuation sites along coastal regions. Municipalities throughout the country had picked around 70,000 such sites as of April 1, 2008, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

At least 101 designated sites were hit by the disaster in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, the three Pacific coast prefectures struck hardest by the gigantic waves after the quake, according to the tally.

In Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, for instance, 31 of its 80 designated sites were hit. "Most of them were washed away," said an official.

In the same prefecture, Onagawa's 25 sites were set up at locations at least 6 meters above sea level, a lesson the town learned from the major tsunami that reached the region after the 1960 Chile quake. The March 11 tsunami, however, smashed 12 of the 25 sites.

In Iwate Prefecture, the city of Kamaishi had four of its 69 sites damaged and the city of Ofunato six of its 58 sites. In the town of Yamada, public buildings were wiped out by the tsunami and fires, leaving at least a dozen people missing.



Radiation surges above 4's fuel pool
Radiation has risen to high levels above the spent-fuel pool at reactor No. 4 and its temperature is rising, the nuclear safety agency says, indicating the fuel rods have been further damaged and emitting radioactive substances.

Tepco chief vows to stay at helm
A day after the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was raised to the level of Chernobyl, Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Masataka Shimizu offers apologies but is unable to outline specific ideas or plans to stabilize the situation.

. . . . .

Hoarding-driven rice demand may outstrip supply, analyst says
Consumers may almost double rice purchases this fiscal year, driven in part by contamination "rumors" surrounding thenuclear disaster, as demand outstrips crimped domestic production.
Hoarding may result in purchases of as much as 15 million metric tons, from about 8 million tons last year, making it impossible for farmers to meet demand after a quake-generated tsunami washed over paddies in an area representing 18 percent of the country's output, Akio Shibata, head of the research unit at Marubeni Corp., said in Tokyo on Monday.

Rice production in Fukushima, Ibaraki, Miyagi and Iwate prefectures amounted to 1.56 million tons last year, out of the country's total of 8.5 million tons.


. . . . .

Public 'self-restraint' hits tourism
One month after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, apparent self-restraint is still keeping people away from the country's major sightseeing spots, including foreigners, who are steering clear of Japan as it struggles with its nuclear crisis.

East Fukushima shiitake banned
Prime Minister Naoto Kan bans the shipment of shiitake raised outdoors in eastern Fukushima Prefecture near the crippled nuclear power plant after radioactive substances exceeding government standards are detected.

Why so many aftershocks
? Why so large?

World right to slam nuke program mismanagement: expert

Sendai airport partially resumes Japan flights

Fisheries hit by safety fears

Ramifications of crisis upgrade to level 7, radiation risk

Almost as bad as Chernobyl

Public 'self-restraint' hits tourism

Sony to adopt daylight saving time to save power

Toyota to suspend Europe output for several days


Thursday, April 14


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