Health news WHO & FDA Release News Japanese government taking appropriate protective measures

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Japanese government taking appropriate protective measures

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

14 March 2011 - A 9.0 magnitude earthquake (updated from the 8.8 magnitude, by Japan Meteorological Agency on 13 March) occurred 11 March 2011 in Japan at 05.46.23 GMT, hitting the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan. The worst affected area is the east coast of Tohoku region. Tsunamis have caused devastation in the coastal areas of Tohoku and southern Hokkaido. Although wide areas of the Pacific were under tsunami alert, the alerts have now been lifted. Based on official Japanese government figures (10:00 hrs, Tokyo time 14 March), 1 627 people are confirmed dead, 1 962 injured with at least 1 720 missing. Figures are expected to rise. Various media sources are reporting more than 10 000 estimated deaths. Rescue operations are ongoing; 371 833 persons have been evacuated.

What is the current risk of radiation-related health problems in Japan to those near the reactor at the time, and those in other parts of Japan?

* The actions proposed by the Government of Japan are in line with the existing recommendations based on public health expertise. The government is asking people living within 20 km of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to evacuate and those between 20km and 30km away from the plant are asked to stay indoors in unventilated rooms. People living farther away are at lower risk than those who live nearby.
* This assessment can change if there are further incidents at these plants and WHO is following the situation closely. However, radiation-related health consequences will depend on exposure. Exposure in turn is dependant on the amount of radiation released from the reactor, weather conditions such as wind and rain at the time of the explosion, the distance someone is from the plant, and the amount of time someone is in irradiated areas.

Source: WHO Release News

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