The number of dead or missing as a result of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, including subsequent aftershocks, as of Saturday May 21st stands at 24,027.
The National Police Agency says a total of 15,170 people have been confirmed dead, while 8,857 people remain unaccounted for.
Miyagi Prefecture has the most deaths at 9,064, followed by Iwate with 4,468 and Fukushima with 1,574.
About 86% of the victims, or 12,993 people, have been positively identified.
Meanwhile, 109,588 evacuees are still living in temporary shelters, mainly in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures.
Meals are arriving with 3 meals a day being served; meals consist of one rice ball, a bowl of miso soup, fried beans, and pickled vegetables.
But the people of Sendai Japan continue to endure and remain civil.
Additional deaths are confirmed across a wide area of eastern Japan, including 7 in Tokyo from a 7.4 M aftershock on April 7th 2011.
Earthquake and tsunami survivors began to move into temporary housing in the city of Rikuzen-takata in Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan, on Saturday (April 9th). They are the first people to use temporary housing in the areas hit by the March 11th disaster.
The first 36 temporary houses were completed in the city by the end of last month. The city needs about 4,000 temporary houses for those who have stayed in evacuation centers.
On Saturday morning, people chosen by lot entered the newly built houses with futons and daily necessities.
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it continues to inject nitrogen gas into the containment vessel of the No.1 reactor without problems. The nitrogen gas is being used to prevent a hydrogen blast at the reactor.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says that as of 6 AM Thursday(April 9th) pressure inside the containment vessel of the No.1 reactor had risen only slightly and that this indicates the operation is going well. The gas injection began at 1:30 AM Thursday.
Radioactive water continued to flow into the ocean at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Monday. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company discovered on Saturday that the contaminated water was gushing from a crack in a concrete pit near reactor Number 2.
TEPCO first tried to pour concrete into the crack to halt the leak, but the attempt failed.
On Sunday(April 3rd), the company injected a mixture of absorbent polymers, sawdust and newspaper to try and clog the flow, but this has yet to absorb the water.
The operator of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says 7.5 million times the legal limit of radioactive iodine 131 has been detected from samples of seawater near the plant. Experts say this makes it clear that highly radioactive substances from the reactor are flowing into the sea, and that the leak must be stopped as soon as possible.
The utility firm said samples of water taken near the water intake of the No. 2 reactor at 11:50 AM Saturday contained 300,000 becquerels of iodine 131 per cubic centimeter, or 7.5 million times the legal limit. TEPCO said the figure had dropped to 200,000 becquerels per cubic centimeter, or 5 million times the legal limit, in samples taken at 9:00 AM Monday(April 4th). Monday’s sample also contained 1.1 million times the legal limit of cesium 137, which has a half life of 30 years.
All articles from NHK World News
The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was struck by Tsunami waves following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the East coast of Japan on March 11th.
The cooling systems for the reactors failed, and the emergency back-up cooling systems were also heavily damaged by the unprecedented Tsunami waves.
The government issued a state of nuclear emergency, and the area around the plant was evacuated.
At one point radiation levels in the immediate vicinity of the plant reached dangerously high levels prompting a partial evacuation of workers from the plant.
Radiation levels throughout the area around the plant have risen, but are not at dangerous levels. Radiation levels in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures are well within normal levels. (Radiation levels in Tokyo are lower than what they would be in a high elevation city such as Denver.) However, radioactive particles have been found in drinking water, milk, and food.
Brave workers of the Tokyo Electric Company and the Self-Defence Force have been working around the clock under dangerous conditions to prevent a catastrophe.
The new radioactive iodine levels in seawater near the plant – 4,385 times the legal limit – were reported by Nisa. Nisa’s director-general, Hidehiko Nishiyama, told reporters the new levels did not present a health risk because nearby residents had already been evacuated.
Source from – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12916688
The international community has come together to help a nation torn by a twin disaster.
The United States has embarked on a massive mission to aid those affected by the disaster, and has entitled the mission, “Operation Tomodachi” (Operation Friend).
British Columbia has sent its own search and rescue team to the devastated areas. The government of Canada has sent a wide range of monetary and material aid, including 25,000 thermal blankets and has offered technical assistance as well.
The Canadian Red Cross has transferred $5 million in cash to Japanese Red Cross.
But many thousands of people still find themselves in a precarious situation.
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