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Monday, March 14, 2011

BBC News - Japan earthquake: New blast at Fukushima nuclear plant


DigitalGlobe satellite photograph shows the earthquake and tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on 14 March 2011

A satellite photo of the Fukushima Daiichi plant showed the damage done to reactors 1 and 3, where there was an explosion on Monday

A fresh explosion has been heard at a quake-hit nuclear plant in northern Japan, local media say.

Technicians have been battling to stabilise reactor 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, after two other reactors exploded in three days.

International nuclear watchdogs said there was no sign of a meltdown but one minister said it was "highly likely" that the rods might melt.

The crisis was sparked by a 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami on Friday.

Japanese authorities have so far given no details about the cause or nature of the third explosion.

Thousands of people are believed to have died, and millions are spending a fourth night without water, food, electricity or gas. More than 500,000 people have been left homeless.

On Monday, a hydrogen blast at the Fukushima Daiichi's reactor 3 injured 11 people and destroyed the building surrounding it. The explosion was felt 40km (25 miles) away and sent a huge column of smoke into the air.

It followed a blast at reactor 1 on Saturday.

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