The radiation level has been monitored carefully and “we urge the people to stay calm and follow the news about the quake-stricken Fukushima No. 1 plant,” said top Japanese government spokesman Yukio Edano on Saturday.
According to the Kyodo News Agency, monitored in Kuwait, the Chief Cabinet Secretary said that the roof of the reactor has collapsed following an explosion that occurred 3:36 p.m. local time after a large tremor.
The Fukushima prefectural government said the hourly radiation from the Fukushima plant reached 1,015 micro sievert in its premises, an amount equivalent to that allowable for ordinary people in one year.
Four workers were injured in the explosion, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company. The four were working to deal with problems caused by a powerful earthquake that hit northeastern Japan on Friday, it said.
On rescue measures regarding the Fukushima incident, Edano said the government instructed residents living within a 10-kilometer radius of the No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants to evacuate, but it later expanded the evacuation scope to a 20-kilometer radius.
Edano expressed the government’s determination to bring relief to the disaster-hit areas.
“This is the largest earthquake since the Meiji Era, and it is believed that more than 1,000 people have lost their lives,” said the government.
The total number of evacuees near the nuclear plant plus were around 210, 000 people in five prefectures, including Iwate and Fukushima, at the time when strong aftershocks continued, reached 300,000, according to the National Police Agency.