Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/27 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/27 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/27 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/27 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/27 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/27 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/27 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/27 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/27 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/27 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 07/24 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/27 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 07/24 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/27 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/27 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 07/27 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 07/24 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 07/27 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 07/24 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 07/27 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 07/24 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Asia-Pacific

More than 1,000 feared dead in Japan

media Houses lie flattened in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture. Reuters/Kyodo

Over 1,000 people are feared dead after the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on Friday. More than 12 hours after the 8.9-magnitude quake, powerful aftershocks continue in north-east Japan, while huge waves triggered by the tremor have been felt thousands of miles across the Pacific.

Japan's national police say 151 people are confirmed dead so far, with another 531 missing.

Those figures are expected to rise much higher. Police in Miyagi prefecture said an additional 200 to 300 bodies had been found washed up on shore, while reports are also coming in of a ship swept away with more than 100 people on board and four passenger trains missing.

The defence ministry estimates the final death toll at over 1,000. Most deaths are thought to be caused by drowning.

Live updates from France 24

As well as the loss of life, the disaster has caused massive damage. More than 5,000 homes have been destroyed.

The government declared an atomic power emergency after the cooling system at its Fukushima nuclear plant failed.

Radiation levels 1,000 times higher than usual were measured in the plant's control room, leading to fears of a leak. Radiation was eight times above the normal level outside the plant. Japan's nuclear safety authority says there is no immediate health hazard, but anyone within a 10-kilometre radius of the facility has been ordered to leave the area.

Meanwhile a fire at the Onagawa nuclear plant has been safely extinguished, according to its operator.

Millions of households in north-east Japan remain without electricity, Tohuko Electric Power company reported.

In the capital, millions of people were left stranded when rail services were suspended for the entire greater Tokyo area. Schools and stadiums have been turned into temporary shelters, while restaurants and food shops have been ordered to provide people with toilets and drinking water.

Other countries have been quick to offer assistance. The United Nations will do "anything and everything" to help, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More than 68 teams from more than 45 countries are on standby to join the relief effort, according to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The World Bank has also offered to spend specialists to support the recovery effort, even though Japan - one of the world's richest countries - is not usually eligible for its aid.

The Red Cross has launched a special website to help people contact friends and family in Japan; it can be found here.

The impact elsewhere

The earthquake triggered huge waves across the Pacific:

  • In the US, tidal waves 1.8 metres high hit Hawaii and surges 2.4 meters high reached the coasts of California and Oregon. Boats were crushed and one person swept out to sea. Evacuations have been ordered in several counties.
  • Waves up to 70 centimetres high hit Mexico's coastal areas of Baja California.
  • Chile has ordered an evacuation of coastal zones at risk from the tsunami. Waves are heading for Easter Island.
  • Ecuador's state oil company has suspended crude oil exports due to the tsunami risk.
  • Nicaragua says some 100,000 people along the coastline are potentially
    at risk.
  • New Zealand upgraded its tsunami warning early on Saturday. Waves of more than one metre are expected.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.