Light winds, rain forecast near Japan N-plant

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Light winds, rain forecast near Japan N-plant

Light southeasterly winds and drizzle are forecast for the area around quake-stricken nuclear reactors on the northeast coast of Japan, the weather agency said on Sunday.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Sun 20 Mar 2011, 1:11 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 11:12 PM

The weather is important in gauging the likelihood of light levels of radiation leaking from the plant reaching heavily populated areas, especially Tokyo to the south, or entering the food chain.

So far the wind has blown mainly out into the Pacific.

The damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) , is about 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

The easterlies are expected to change to light northwesterlies, again heading into the Pacific, later in the day, according to the forecast.

Some 5-10 mm of rain is forecast over the next 24 hours.

Three hundred engineers have been battling inside the danger zone to try to cool down the reactors which were ravaged by the quake and tsunami on March 11.

Officially, at least 8,133 people were killed, with 12,272 more missing. But police said on Sunday they feared more than 15,000 people had been killed in the one prefecture of Miyagi alone.

The wind near the plant will blow as fast as five metres (16 ft) per second, the Meteorological Agency in Fukushima prefecture said.

On Saturday, traces of radiation exceeding national safety standards were found in milk from a farm about 30 km (18 miles) from the plant and in spinach grown in neighbouring Ibaraki prefecture, the first discovery of contaminated food since the disaster.

Tiny levels of radioactive iodine have also been found in tap water in Tokyo, one of the world’s largest cities. Radiation has also been found in dust in the greater city area.

Many tourists and expatriates have already left and residents are generally staying indoors.

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