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Developments in Japan's disasters, nuclear crisis

Developments in Japan's disasters, nuclear crisis

_ JAPAN DISASTERS TO COST UP TO $309 BILLION. Japan's government says the economic costs of the catastrophic March 11 earthquake and tsunami could reach $309 billion. The damage to housing, infrastructure and businesses in northeast Japan could cost between 16 trillion yen and 25 trillion yen ($309 billion), according to the Cabinet Office. The 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami devastated Japan's northeastern coast. Utilities have imposed power rationing, many factories remain closed and key rail lines are impassable.
_ TOKYO TAP WATER NOT SAFE FOR INFANTS. Officials say tap water in Tokyo tested two times above the limits for radioactive iodine considered safe for infants, amid burgeoning concerns about food safety in the wake of the disaster, which crippled a nuclear power plant. Levels of radioactive iodine in tap water at a water treatment center in downtown Tokyo that supplies much of the city's tap water contained 210 becquerels per liter of iodine-131, officials from the Tokyo Water Bureau say. That amount is more than twice the recommended limit of 100 becquerels per liter for infants, the most vulnerable segment of the population. Babies in Tokyo should not be fed tap water, although the level is not an immediate health risk for adults, officials say.
_ US HALTS FOOD IMPORTS FROM AFFECTED AREA OF JAPAN. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it will halt imports of dairy products and produce from the area of Japan where a nuclear reactor is leaking radiation. The FDA says that those foods will be detained at entry and will not be sold to the public. The agency previously said it would just step up screening of those foods. Other foods imported from Japan, including seafood, will still be sold to the public but screened first for radiation. Japanese foods make up less than 4 percent of all U.S. imports, and the FDA has said it expects no risk to the U.S. food supply from radiation.
_ POLICE SAY DISASTER DEATH TOLL TOPS 9,400. Japan's police agency says the death toll from the disasters has exceeded 9,400, with more than 14,700 missing. Those tallies are likely to overlap, but police officials estimate that the final figure will likely exceed 18,000 deaths. A police spokesman from one of the of the hardest-hit prefectures, Miyagi, estimates that the deaths will top 15,000 in that region alone. Police in other devastated areas declined to estimate eventual tolls, but said the confirmed deaths in their areas already number nearly 3,700. The National Police Agency says the overall number of bodies collected so far stands at 9,408, while 14,716 people have been listed as missing.
_ US MILITARY DESIGNATES FAMILY RECEPTION CENTERS. The U.S. Northern Command has set up two reception centers on the West Coast to arrange temporary lodging, food, pet care and other accommodations for U.S. military families who are returning from Japan after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor crisis. Northern Command, based at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, says the centers were set up at Seattle-Tacoma Airport in Washington and Travis Air Force Base in California. Officials say another reception center could be opened if necessary. Northern Command is responsible for the military defense of U.S. soil and supporting civilian agencies in natural or human-caused disasters.
_ TOYOTA TO DELAY PRIUS MINIVAN LAUNCH AFTER QUAKE. Toyota Motor Corp. says it will delay the launch of the Prius hybrid minivan in Japan due to disruptions in parts supply following the disaster. Toyota says it initially planned to roll out the Prius minivan in April. But the disaster in northern Japan crippled supply chains and destroyed shops, forcing Toyota to postpone the launch. Since March 14, Toyota has halted auto production because of difficulty securing components, including rubber parts and electronics. The company says it will suspend output until Sunday _ a production loss of 140,000 cars.


Updated : 2021-07-29 08:30 GMT+08:00