Snapshot: Developments after major Japan earthquake

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 22, 2011 11:37 AM
Snapshot: Developments after major Japan earthquake

TOKYO (Reuters) - Following are main developments after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck northeast Japan on Friday and set off a tsunami.

- More than 1,800 people likely dead or missing from the quake and tsunami, Kyodo news agency says.

- Kyodo reports 10,000 people in one town unreachable.

* Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) says radiation levels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have risen above the safety limit but says this posed no "immediate threat" to human health. An explosion blew the roof off the plant, but authorities had said radiation levels were lessening.

* Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says efforts to eliminate radiation risks focus on air being vented out of the reactor and water being supplied to it.

- Evacuation ordered of 110,000 from 20-km (12-mile) radius around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, 30,000 from 10-km (6-mile) radius around nearby Fukushima Daini plant. Kyodo says 300,000 evacuated overall, 5.5 million without power.

* Jiji news agency says a further 19 people may have been exposed to radiation from the reactor. The nuclear safety agency had earlier said up to 160 people may have been exposed.

- Nuclear safety agency rates the incident a 4 on the 1 to 7 International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, less serious than Three Mile Island, which was a 5, and Chernobyl at 7.

- Quake triggers tsunami up to 10 meters (30 feet). Waves swept away homes, crops, vehicles and submerged farmland.

- Bank of Japan to hold policy meeting on Monday. The central bank vows to ensure financial market stability.

- Toyota Motor Co to suspend operations at all 12 factories on Monday.

- Total insured loss could be up to $15 billion, equity analysts covering the industry say.

- Disaster sends oil, metals, and grain prices sliding on fears over its impact on demand, deepening their biggest decline in months; yen rises broadly on risk aversion by Japanese investors and expectations of repatriations by Japan's insurance companies; oil prices slides more than $3 a barrel.

- Tokyo Stock Exchange to trade as normal on Monday.