Latest news coming in from BBC News Asia-Pacific
0857: The BBC's Nick Ravenscroft was on his way towards Fukushima, but about 60km from the plant was stopped by the police and told it was too dangerous to proceed. He says there is lots of traffic coming in the other direction. Authorities in vehicles with sirens are making public announcements to the crowds.0855: Some pictures have come through now on Japanese TV of that explosion. It looks very strong. You can see debris being blasted from the building, then a cloud of smoke mushrooming up from the plant.0850: Japan's Kyodo news agency reporting that four people have been injured in an explosion at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant.0847: NHK TV carrying advice to people to protect themselves against radiation. Experts say people should cover their mouths and noses with wet towels. Exposed skin should also be covered and people should wash after coming indoors. People should also avoid vegetables and other fresh food, as well as tap water, until authorities give the all-clear.UPDATE: Plant's exterior walls are gone:
UPDATE II: Video: Collapsed walls
ABC News Australia: Several workers have been injured in an explosion at the quake-hit Fukushima No 1 nuclear power plant in Japan's north, according to local media reports.The explosion was heard at 3:36pm (local time) following a series of large tremors at the site.According to public broadcaster NHK, the plant's exterior walls are gone and only the skeleton structure remains.Footage on Japanese television shows white smoke billowing from the plant.Local media reports say radioactivity at the plant is now 20 times the normal level. [MORE]
UPDATE III: Radiation leaking
Reuters: - Radiation leaked from an unstable Japanese nuclear reactor north of Tokyo on Saturday, the government said, after an explosion blew the roof off the facility in the wake of a massive earthquake.
The developments raised fears of a disastrous meltdown at the plant, which was damaged by Friday's 8.9-magnitude earthquake, the strongest ever recorded in Japan.
"We are looking into the cause and the situation and we'll make that public when we have further information," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.[...]
The blast came as plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) worked desperately to reduce pressures in the core of the reactor.
"An unchecked rise in temperature could cause the core to essentially turn into a molten mass that could burn through the reactor vessel," risk information service Stratfor said in a report before the explosion. "This may lead to a release of an unchecked amount of radiation into the containment building that surrounds the reactor."
NHK television and Jiji said the outer structure of the building that houses the reactor appeared to have blown off, which could suggest the containment building had already been breached.Via: BBC News
Via: ABC News Australia
Via: Herald Sun Australia