Japan Faces Second Quake

New fears of a nuclear meltdown in Japan as the country faces the possibility of a 7.0 magnitude quake.

Tags: Japan
Maayana Miskin , | updated: 9:49 PM

Japan Sendai earthquake March 2011
Japan Sendai earthquake March 2011
Israel news photo: Wikimedia Commons

Meteorological agencies have warned that there is a 70% chance of a 7.0 magnitude quake hitting Japan in the next three days. The country is struggling in the aftermath of a 9.0 magnitude quake and a massive tsunami.

More than 10,000 people are feared dead in the disaster.

The chance of a new quake has renewed fears of a nuclear meltdown. Three nuclear power plants have experienced failures due to the quake and in one, the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the reactor core is partially exposed.

Workers have flooded the core with seawater in an attempt to prevent it from overheating. While the measure seems to have worked for the time being, a second quake could create a new crisis. A United States nuclear expert has warned that if the core were to melt, the resulting radiation could reach as far as the western coast of the U.S.

Experts in Japan are hoping that even if the core were to melt, the walls around the plant would prevent a massive release of radiation into the atmosphere. However, one wall was already damaged in the explosion that put the core at risk.

Problems at the plant already led to several dozen workers being exposed to radiation, but so far, no health problems have been reported.

The tsunami has left 20,800 building destroyed or damaged, and more than 300,000 homeless. Millions have been left without clean water, food, or electricity.