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Atomic crisis deepens in disaster-struck Japan

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Dr.Zaka


Japanese crews grappling with the world's worst nuclear incident since Chernobyl suspended work due to radiation fears Wednesday as tens of thousands in need after the quake and tsunami desperately appealed for help. 

The jittery nation, living in dread of a nuclear catastrophe after Friday's twin disaster, was also hit by a strong 6.0 magnitude earthquake that swayed buildings in Tokyo, fraying already jangled nerves.

The official toll of the dead and missing after the quake and tsunami flattened Japan's northeast coast has topped 11,000, with 3,676 confirmed killed, police said.

However, after the Tokyo stock exchange's biggest two-day sell-off in 24 years sparked a global market rout, the headline Nikkei share index closed up 5.68 percent on bargain hunting.

The Bank of Japan pumped another 3.5 trillion yen ($43.3 billion) into the financial system, adding to trillions spent this week since the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and towering tsunami crippled a large swathe of the economy.

The evacuation order at the Fukushima nuclear power plant came as a tall white cloud was seen billowing high into the sky over the stricken complex.


The containment vessel around the core of reactor number three may have suffered damage, and the "likeliest possibility" for the white cloud was steam escaping from the vessel, chief government spokesman Yukio Edano said.


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