Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Live: Japan Earthquake - BBC News

Another quote from Japan's emperor: ''I sincerely hope that the people will overcome this unfortunate time by engendering a sense of caring for other people,'' he said in an address broadcast a short while ago.

Prices for private jets have leapt up as thousands of people trying to get out of Japan put in orders, Reuters reports. "I got a request yesterday to fly 14 people from Tokyo to Hong Kong, 5 hour 5 minutes trip. They did not care about price," Reuters quotes Jackie Wu of Hong Kong Jet as saying.

The second British rescue team (not the government team) - International Rescue Corps - is on its way back from Tokyo after the British Embassy in Tokyo refused to give them a letter of authorisation which would allow them entry into the disaster zones and enable them to get fuel. "There's an emptiness and disbelief," said Willie McMartin, IRC Operations Director. "This was the 32nd world disaster we have been to and we've only had problems twice before with host governments in China and Afghanistan. We have never encountered the position where the British embassy, our own country, came up with a show stopper."

Japan's NHK TV reports that a helicopter that is to drop water over Reactor Three will pass over the reactor many times. It says the helicopter can't stay too long over the plant because of the risk of radiation to the crew. Images of the helicopter show it scooping water from the sea into a red container similar to those used in fire-fighting operations around the world.

Turkey is advising citizens to postpone non-essential travel to Japan, Reuters reports, while Australia is advising its nationals to consider leaving Tokyo and the eight worst-affected prefectures.

Emperor Akihito also expressed concern about the continuing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant during his address.

The total number of dead or missing is now more than 11,000 Japan's NHK TV reports - the first time since WWII that so many people have been killed in Japan in a natural disaster.

A helicopter used to pour water over one of the reactors has taken off, Japanese TV reports.

A reminder that freezing weather is forecast over the coming days in Japan, making things even tougher for those made homeless by the earthquake and tsunami. Temperatures have already plunged to 0C in many of the affected areas."

The Japanese government has decided to accept the help of doctors from overseas as an exceptional measure to treat survivors of the devastating earthquake, foreign ministry officials are quoted as saying by Kyodo. The news agency says that Canada and several other countries have offered to dispatch medical teams.

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