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7/17/2007

Japan quake victims take shelter, mudslides feared

Breaking Earth News
Japan
Photo:
Residents queue for water supplies near a gymnasium used as a shelter in Kashiwazaki July 17, 2007. More than 10,000 people huddled in evacuation centres in northwest Japan on Tuesday after an earthquake flattened homes, killing nine people, injuring more than 900 and triggering a leak of contaminated water from a nuclear plant. REUTERS/Kiyoshi Ota

More than 10,000 people huddled in evacuation centres in northwest Japan on Tuesday after the earthquake flattened homes, killing nine people, injuring more than 900 and triggering a leak of contaminated water from a nuclear plant. As aftershocks continued, forecasts for two days of wet weather raised fears of mudslides that could add to the devastation. A small fire and a leak of contaminated water at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant - the world's largest - reignited fears about nuclear safety in a country that relies on atomic power for about one third of its electricity. The quake was stronger than those its reactors had been designed to withstand. About 100 drums containing low-level nuclear waste at the plant were knocked over by the quake and some lost their lids. The quake halted gas service to about 35,000 homes and disrupted the water supply to all of Kashiwazaki. It was unclear when production would re-start at some factories in the area. Houses, many wooden with traditional heavy tile roofs, collapsed and roads cracked in Monday's quake, centred in the same northwestern area as a tremor three
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