An explosion brought white smoke rising on top of a nuclear plant where an earthquake and tsunami crippled cooling systems in northeastern Japan, Yukio Edano, Chief Cabinet secretary of Japan said.
The danger started at the plant's Unit 1 after the massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the tsunami it spawned knocked out power there. Over 1,000 estimated dead and ‘several’ hundreds were injured and missing after the 8.9 magnitude earthquake hits Japan.
Four workers were reported to have been injured after the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Edano told reporters. It was not directly clear where the blast occurred inside the plant, or what caused it. The roof of a reactor at the plant collapsed following the explosion around 3:30 P M, Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported citing Tokyo Electric Power Company.
One expert said the blast was "clearly a serious situation," but may not be related to problems inside the plant's nuclear reactor. Other effects of the tsunami may have caused the explosion, said Malcolm Grimston, associate fellow for energy, environment, and development at London's Chatham House. “It's clearly a serious situation, but that in itself does not necessarily mean major (nuclear) contamination," he said.
Japanese TV began warning people living near Fukushima nuclear power location to stay inside. The people were being told to shut off air-conditioners and not to drink tap water. People going outside were also been told to stay away from exposing their skin and will need to cover their faces with masks and wet towels.
“We are now trying to analyze what is behind the explosion," the Chief Cabinet secretary said, stressing that people should hurriedly evacuate a six-mile (10 kilometer) radius. "We ask everyone to take action to secure safety."