Letupan loji nuklear Jepun: Amaran kesan radiasi (video)

10 Rabiulakhir 1432H - Dangerous levels of radiation are leaking into the atmosphere following a fire and explosions at a nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, officials warned on Tuesday as the country reels in the wake of last week's devasting earthquake and tsunami.

Radiation levels around the Fukushima No.1 plant on the eastern coast had "risen considerably", Naoto Kan, the prime minister said, and his chief spokesman announced the level was now high enough to endanger human health.

The UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency on Tuesday upgraded the crisis to a level-6 "serious accident" on its 1-7 scale of nuclear incidents. The Chernobyl meltdown in 1986, considered the world's worst nuclear disaster, was a grade-7 incident.

But the IAEA's Japanese chief, Yukiya Amano, moved to calm global fears that the situation could escalate further.

"Let me say that the possibility that the development of this accident into one like Chernobyl is very unlikely," he said.

In Tokyo, some 250km to the southwest, authorities also said radiation levels 10 times higher than normal had been detected in the capital, the world's biggest urban area, but said the increase didn't pose a threat to health.

Kan warned people living up to 10km beyond a 20km exclusion zone around the nuclear plant to stay indoors. Hundreds of thousands of people have already been evacuated from the affected region.

"I would like to ask the nation, although this incident is of great concern, I ask you to react very calmly," he said. MORE >>

(Source: Al-Jazeera English)

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Winds blowing radioactivity offshore, away from Japan: WMO

The UN weather agency said Tuesday that winds are currently blowing radioactive material towards the ocean, and that there were "no implications" for Japan or countries nearby.

"All the meterological conditions are offshore, there are no implications inshore for Japan or other countries near Japan," Maryam Golnaraghi, who heads the weather agency's disaster risk reduction programme, told journalists.

A World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) spokeswoman warned however that the conditions "will fluctuate as the weather systems progress."

Forecasts issued earlier Tuesday indicate that winds near the surface were blowing north-easterly, before shifting easterly. (Source: - AFP/cc)

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