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. Pierre PRUVOST

    Hi american people (i 'm french in FRANCE)
    I invit you to watch a simulation of the radioactive cloud dispersion from FUKUSHIMA provided by METEO FRANCE:
    I hope your children are still born with two eyes ...
    ours too..

    March 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      After watching the french video, I see why Obama went to South America.

      March 21, 2011 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    May God be with the families of those who have been killed and may He help those injured.

    March 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kaoru

    Where is the US support bringing in food supply and air rescue? I would like to see that and if there is no aid please send help to them.. also I dont know where to donate and so more news coverage on donations would be nice 🙂

    March 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |

      did they send us food when katrina happen?

      March 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • HappyMomma

      Yes, Ruffnutt, they DID. Look it up and stop being so narrow minded.
      It should actually not even matter whether they did. Have you no compassion?

      March 21, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Nubia

    I agee with Rafael, it is a bunch of nonsense. Today is as much as x ray, tomorro radiation is as much as a CT scan. Tomorro is what.. These are human beings who wills suffer the effects. Step it and star telling the thruth.

    March 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy

    @Kaoru: Donate to the Red Cross, or Google "Donations + Japan.

    March 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy


    How do you know they *didn't*?

    Plus, even you cannot compare Katrina to the destruction in Japan, my friend.

    March 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |

    I THINK the katrina was worse cause the victims there didnt have any money really and were poor..

    it's a we'll knownn fact that most of the ja-paneese have a ton of money saved up..

    plus why do we have to send stuff from halfway around the world.. china is less than a feww hundred miles away..

    March 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michele In Wyoming

      Your an idiot..money has nothing to do with disaster. If the banks are gone, the money is gone, the resources are gone..how rich are you. We are talking a WHOLE COUNTRY, not a few states. Not tominimize Katrina..but everyone needs to get some perspective

      March 20, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |

      first.. the banks are gone so the money is gone? lol!! what a big crack opened up and swallowed all the banks and the money was inside?

      the money is kept track of on computers, yaeh im sure some money was lost..but i bet they have a system like our fdic in place to take care of that..

      second ja-pan is about the size of one of our states..

      third, we are so in debt that they are talking about shutting down the government cause were out of money..

      and last, the ja-panese are hard working resourseful people.. it'll will just be a matter of time before they are back on there feet and shiping us radioactive car parts and electronics..

      March 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank Rizzo

      Any disaster that causes loss of life is bad having money or not,

      March 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sam


    March 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |

    how come everyone hates the usa... till something happens...

    then we are expected to recue them...and give them tons of money...

    March 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. andrew

    whether or not that they helped us does not change the fact that they are suffering and need all the help they can help. can u put yourself in their shoes and feel the same, the pain and sadness of life and home, the fear they now shelter? it is only human to want to help out and not question it, thats self explanatory and does not need to be spoken.

    March 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |

    all i'm saying is.. china and south korea and other countries are real real close.. why are they there helping already..

    isn't the usa's mastercard maxed out aready anyways?

    March 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. frank cavestani

    We should help as much as we can partcularly with radiation clean up as it will effect us

    March 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tomas

      DISTANCE my friend, distance. The need for clean up will be located withing MILES of the plant, not the 6000 miles to the nearest US landfall. We will only see trace amounts equal to partial years of natural exposure. This is the true threat of these plants, not people exploding precooked in the street, but rendering areas around plants uninhabitable for decades or centuries. The public has a distorted view from too many movies about radiation. We get it every day.

      March 20, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tomas

      II have done extensive research for my magazine on this subject, checking experts and counter experts. 1) nuclear facilities are LESS dangerous than I thought. Except to the area IMEADIATELY around the plant. 2) Nuclear medicine is MORE dangerous than I thought. (X-rays, CT scans et al) Think about it. The control room guys got about 3 full body CT scans. You iin north America will get less than a couple dental x-ray – TOPS!! Makes ya think no?

      March 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy

    Hmmm...cnn is not letting me through again...

    March 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Shoooo

    I let a stinker. Shoooo it stinks 🙂

    March 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Michele In Wyoming

    Hey everyone, not all of us in the midwest think as RUFFNUTT does...

    March 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |

      im not against helping them.. but shouldn't everyone pitch in?

      especially the people that are closest to them?

      March 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tomas

      Guess reading in the midwest is optional too, along with evolution. No, all the countries you mentioned HAVE resources in the region helping as of Monday last.

      March 20, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
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