Japan is facing a growing nuclear crisis amid fears of new explosions at Fukushima No.1 plant. The 9-magnitude quake caused the cooling systems at three reactors fail.
The Japanese authorities claim that radiation levels near the nuclear power plant have dropped 14 times as technicians have been working hard to cool the reactor’s overheated core. However, many experts agree that the accident at Fukushima No.1 will hardly be equaled to the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Still, a new wave of aftershocks is expected to hit Japan within approximately the next 30 days. Seismologists say the epicenter of the quake is not far from the Fukushima power plant, which means that new damage may be caused to the station`s building.
Meanwhile, reports say that the death toll in tsunami-hit Miyagi prefecture alone may exceed 10,000 people. Thousands more are still missing. The authorities are stepping up relief efforts to reach out to the most distant areas affected by the quake and tsunami.
Some web sites have already tagged the quake as ‘the end of the world’, ‘2012’, or something like that…
The date coincides with the end of the world according
to the Maya calendar. But scientists are skeptical about the Mayan
prophecies. Here is an opinion from Alexei Nikolayev, head of the
Russian Earthquake Prediction Council:
“I don’t think that anything will threaten Earth at least for a
century. Powerful earthquakes like the one in Japan have occurred before
and will occur in the future. But disastrous forecasts that Earth might
split are absolutely wrong. There is a so-called anthropogenic
hypothesis which holds that whatever happens on Earth will benefit the
humankind. From catastrophe to catastrophe, the humans become wiser and
find ways of minimizing the impact of man-made disasters so that our
planet could follow stable development laws and stable seismic laws too.”
Meanwhile, the March 11 earthquake in Japan shifted Earth on
its axis by 15 cm. Astronomers with Moscow State University’s Stenberg
Institute say that the fact that the Moon is coming closest to Earth
this month may also be to blame. The gravitational pull of the Moon and
the Sun elongates parts of terrestrial surface, giving the oceans a
Scientists are at odds over whether the effects of the “great earthquake” would be felt globally.