Brits advised to leave Tokyo over radiation fears

British nationals in the Japanese capital and northern parts of the country have been warned to evacuate the area.

Travel Insurance News - 17/03/2011

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As the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant worsens, the British government has told UK nationals in the country’s capital city and the north of Japan they should leave the area. The warning comes as authorities in Japan continued with desperate attempts to bring the nuclear crisis under control.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said British nationals in the area near the nuclear crisis zone should leave Japan or head for southern parts of the country. Meanwhile, other countries were issuing similar advice to their own citizens.

Some foreign companies have evacuated their personnel from Japan. Others have started assisted their staff with moving to areas south of the current danger zone.

Several countries have begun operations to fly their nationals out of Japan. Thailand announced it was sending a C-130 Hercules transport plane to bring back some of its citizens. Flights by European and Asian airlines are being diverted from Tokyo to Japan. Other flights have been cancelled.

The upgraded advice from the FCO comes as workers at the stricken power plant pressed on with what appear to be increasingly desperate attempts to prevent a much-feared meltdown of radioactive fuel at the facility. In the morning, helicopters started dumping water on one reactor building in a bid to cool the spend fuel pool and bring down radiation levels.

Official statements from around the world have steadily increased in tone and concern for what is happening. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission appeared to take a strong position, saying it thought the situation at Fukushima could be much worse than Japanese officials appeared to have presented.

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