Mike Head: Mounting Human Toll and Nuclear Emergency in Japan.
Japan's nuclear emergency worsened today, highlighting the dangers to the lives and health of perhaps millions of people, even as the full horror of the death and destruction left by Friday's earthquake and tsunami continued to emerge. A fourth explosion at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (Tepco) Fukushima nuclear power plant, and a government warning of health-threatening serious radiation leaks, have heightened fears that the disaster could worsen. Officially the death toll from the magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami that struck the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan has risen beyond 2,400, with at least 15,000 unaccounted for. The actual number of deaths is much higher. Police said the total in the in the Miyagi Prefecture port town of Minamisanriku alone was expected to surpass 10,000. Searchers found 2,ooo bodies in the Miyagi Prefecture port town of Minamisanriku alone was expected to surpass 10,000. Searchers found 2,000 bodies in the Miyagi region yesterday, including 1,000 recovered from beaches along Oshika Peninsula, washed back in with the tide. Entire communities have yet to be reached by relief teams,and shocking video and photographic images are just emerging from remote areas, showing almost incomprehensible devastation. Whole towns have been wiped out, with many residents, particularly the elderly and frail, given little chance to escape. Although 66,000 military personnel were rushed to the scene, we are not certain whether they will be able to remedy the situation!