Japan: UN stepping up assistance in wake of quake and tsunami


Hydrogen explosions at a nuclear plant
in Fukushima, North Japan, have sparked fresh
concerns over safety. Technicians are working to stabilize
the plant’s emergency cooling system, which failed after Friday’s devastating
Magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami. So far, Japanese authorities have
evacuated nearly 200,000 people living near the plant, and teams of nuclear experts are being sent to deal with the crisis. Meanwhile, the relief operation in
the country is continuing as casualty figures rise. On Monday, an official toll of 1800 dead
and many thousands missing was expected to increase greatly
over the coming days. But officials on the ground are
still holding out hope that many people can still be rescued. Elisabeth Byrs, from the UN Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, says that 15 search and rescue teams
have already been sent to Japan. “We have also deployed a seven-member team, highly specialized experts with a lot of knowledge
of this kind of dramatic situation. And this seven-member team is under the supervision of the Japanese disaster
management team to coordinate better, to add efficiency to this international
search and rescue effort.” For more UN videos visit:
www.un.org/webcast

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