Japan nuclear crisis worsens as country braces for second huge earthquake
• Scientists predict second massive quake of 7.0
• Nuclear crisis as second reactor cooling system fails
• PM says disaster is worst since second world war
• Earthquake and tsunami death toll set to top 10,000
Justin McCurry in Tokyo
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 13 March 2011 12.10 GMT
Three days after a devastating earthquake unleashed a tsunami in which at least 10,000 people are feared dead, Japan on Sunday faced a deepening nuclear crisis and the prospect of another very powerful quake.
The prime minister, Naoto Kan, called the disaster “Japan’s most severe crisis since the war ended 65 years ago”. He called on the country to unite and said its future would be decided by the response to this crisis.
The threat of further seismic shifts and tsunami is far from over. As rescue teams from more than 70 countries and tens of thousands of Japanese troops descended on the disaster zone, meteorological agency officials warned there was a 70% chance of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake striking the region in the next three days. “There will be many aftershocks in multiple locations. We have to brace ourselves for aftershocks of magnitude 5 or even magnitude 6,” an agency official said.