In Japan, attention is focusing in two places: First, search and rescue operations and the massive recovery ahead in the large sections of the northeastern coast devastated by Friday's earthquake and tsunamis. The other increasingly critical concern: the condition of damaged nuclear power plants in Fukushima Prefecture.
Saturday afternoon, an explosion was seen at the No. 1 Reactor of Fukushima No. 1 power plant. The links:
- Daily Yomiuri Online: Reactor Meltdown Feared
- New York Times: Explosion Heard at Damaged Japan Nuclear Plant
- NPR: 'Last-Ditch Effort' To Prevent Meltdown
- Los Angeles Times: Japan's fears mount with nuclear plant blast
Yomiuri includes this ominous description of the incident:
An explosion was heard from the No. 1 plant at about 3:36 p.m. [10:36 p.m. Friday night PST] and white smoke was witnessed about 10 minutes later, Tokyo Electric Power Co officials said, adding that four workers were injured. However, the cause of the blast remained unknown.