Japan quake live blog: Radiation level in food no cause for alarm, expert says
People wait in line for a supermarket to open as limited food continues to cause problems for people in the earthquake-affected areas Sunday in Ichinoseki, Japan.
March 20th, 2011
08:20 AM ET

Japan quake live blog: Radiation level in food no cause for alarm, expert says

A magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit northern Japan on March 11, triggering tsunamis that caused widespread devastation and crippled a nuclear power plant. Are you in an affected area? Send an iReport. Read the full report on the quake's aftermath and check out our interactive explainer on Japan's damaged nuclear reactors.

[10:20 p.m. Sunday ET, 11:20 a.m. Monday Tokyo] Stars and Stripes, the independent news organization covering the U. S. military, reports more than 7,900 U.S. residents at bases in northern and central Japan want to leave on military-sponsored flights.

[9:44 p.m. Sunday ET, 10:44 a.m. Monday Tokyo] National broadcaster NHK reports that Japan's Self-Defense Forces is once again spraying water on the No. 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

[8:52 p.m. Sunday ET, 9:52 a.m. Monday Tokyo] A few water samples taken in the area around the  Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant tested positive for iodine - although far below levels of concern under Japanese law, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency website.

[7:27 p.m. Sunday ET, 8:27 a.m. Monday Tokyo] Kyodo News reports that Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has canceled a visit to one of the areas devastated by the massive earthquake and tsunami because of bad weather.

Government officials said Kan had been scheduled to go Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture via helicopter.

[4:35 p.m. Sunday ET, 5:35 a.m. Monday Tokyo] A U.S. radiation expert has said there's not much reason to worry  despite restrictions on some food produced in two provinces around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.  Japan slapped on the restrictions after high levels of radioactivity turned up in spinach and milk.

Dr. James Cox, professor of radiation oncology at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said the reported levels posed little or no health concerns.

[10:40 a.m. Sunday, 11:50 p.m. Sunday Tokyo] Japan has restricted sales of vegetables from the prefecture surrounding the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following a ban on the sale of raw milk from the same region, the country's Health Ministry announced late Sunday.

[7:22 a.m. Sunday ET, 8:05 p.m. Sunday Tokyo] CNN has confirmed with the Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital that two people, an 81 year old grandmother and her 16 year old grandson were rescued after being trapped inside their house for 9 days. Full story

[6:05 a.m. Sunday ET, 7:05 p.m. Sunday in Tokyo] Japan's National Police Agency said that 8,277 people are confirmed dead and 12,722 have been reported missing. The agency also said 2,619 people have been injured.

[3:54 a.m. Sunday ET, 4:54 p.m. Sunday in Tokyo] Japan's government hopes to decide Monday whether to ban consumption and shipment of agriculture products from the area near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, an official said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters Sunday that authorities were analyzing data after finding radiation-contaminated milk and spinach near the plant. "We hope to reach a conclusion by tomorrow," he said.

[3:48 a.m. Sunday ET, 4:48 p.m. Sunday in Tokyo] Police in northeastern Japan's Miyagi prefecture said Sunday that up to 15,000 dead bodies may be found in that area alone.

Authorities have asked the national army for help, police in the prefecture said. More than 4,800 people have been confirmed dead in the prefecture.

[3:45 a.m. Sunday ET, 4:45 p.m. Sunday in Tokyo] The pressure in the containment vessel of reactor No. 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has stabilized, officials said Sunday.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials told reporters that pressure was higher than previous levels, but that they had no plans to immediately release gas to relieve the pressure.

"We will continue to monitor the situation while making the necessary preparations," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters.

Earlier Sunday, Japan's nuclear agency said officials were planning an operation to reduce pressure in the vessel by releasing gas containing radioactive material.

The No. 3 reactor is one of six at the nuclear plant, where workers have been struggling to stave off a full meltdown since a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami knocked out cooling systems.

In earlier operations, they have let out radioactive steam in order to alleviate growing pressure inside affected reactors.

[3:20 a.m. Sunday ET, 4:20 p.m. Sunday in Tokyo] As of 3 p.m. Sunday (2 a.m. ET), Japan's National Police Agency said that 8,199 people are confirmed dead and 12,722 have been reported missing. The agency said 2,613 people have been injured.

[12:58 a.m. Sunday ET, 1:58 p.m. Sunday in Tokyo] Japan's National Police Agency said Sunday that 8,133 people are confirmed dead and 12,272 have been reported missing following the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck March 11. The agency said 2,612 people have been injured.

[12:15 a.m. Sunday ET, 1:15 p.m. Sunday in Tokyo] The pressure in the containment vessel of reactor No. 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is increasing, Japan's nuclear safety agency said Sunday. The agency said officials are planning an operation to reduce pressure in the vessel - the steel and concrete shell that insulates radioactive material inside.

Late Saturday (early Sunday in Tokyo), the death toll was confirmed at 7,700 people, according to Japan's National Police Agency. An additional 11,651 people were missing and 2,612 were injured, the agency said.

The March 11 tremors shifted the Oshika Peninsula near the epicenter by just over 17 feet and dropped it by just over 4 feet, the Geospatial Information Authority in Tsukuba, Japan, reported Saturday. Those two land mass movements are records for Japan, according to government figures.

The global positioning system data from the Tsukuba University-based authority revealed the peninsula on the Pacific coast moved in an east-southeasterly direction toward the epicenter.

The quake also moved land masses in many areas ranging from the northeastern region of Tohoku to the Kanto region including Tokyo, the authority said.

Search and rescue efforts have been hampered by snowfall in the hardest-hit areas, said spokesman Patrick Fuller of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Construction of temporary housing for displaced people began this weekend with 200 units destined for the devastated coastal city of Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, The Japan Times reported. The prefabricated houses can accommodate two to three people and will be built on the grounds of a junior high school.

soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. tekbit

    Disaster has it's own Dichotomy. Those who Care, and Those who Fare. Watch the dichotomy of both.

    March 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TheGreenwichGIirl

    Pray that the whole world does their part.

    March 20, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. carla

    Ever thought about the xray techs that take your xray? They stand behind a very thick lead wall. There we lay on a table totally exposed to this crap. Makes me think.

    March 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JS

    One thing this crisis has determined is that lots of so called "experts" are MORONS

    March 20, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. thethinker

    Well....its all bad if you ask me. But what bugs me the most are the lies. Its the goverments job to keep us calm so in order to do that they LIE!! They tell us all the radioactive leakage and exploding radioactive generators blowing fuel rods out of a 25 foot hole in the side of the building is ok.....hummm i could be wrong but that sounds pretty bad!

    March 21, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Leslie

    The children are the biggest concern–they cannot take as much radiation exposure as an adult–http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/7875202/radiation_tainted_tap_water_may_have.html?cat=5

    March 21, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. kimberly shaw

    No more war the US will began to look like a third world country!

    March 21, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mmmmm

    There should be a moratorium on nuclear plants. This isn't the first failure. Each and everytime these plants have never successfully recovered without mortal amount of radiation leaked, without injury to life, without creating an unhabitable place for 50 years to forever, without being encased and intomb with tons of concrete like some perp beast out of a b-horror movie instead of the usual held in check crucifix place geiger counters. Nuclear plant aren't clean energy. Its dung piles are too high!

    March 21, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. mar

    cant they freeze it with an actic blast

    March 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. thethinker

    Where is all the fresh sea water they are spraying on to the highly radioactive reactor going? Seems like that in its self is not a real smart move ether...i understand that it is helping to cool the reactor but now that once fresh sea water has to go somewhere...perhaps in to sewers and to the water plant...is that why the drinking water is not safe?

    March 21, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
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