The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Local Japanese Await Word in Earthquake Aftermath

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 12, 2011 2:42PM

As Japanese citizens are digging out from the wreckage caused by yesterday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, local Japanese Americans are awaiting word from their relatives in Japan to ensure they're alright.

One of the major dangers posed in the aftermath of the largest earthquake in Japan's history is the possible meltdown of a nuclear reactor. An explosion at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant destroyed the building housing the reactor, but not the metal shielding surrounding the reactor itself. Both government and power company spokesmen said that radiation and pressure in the reactor core both decreased immediately after the explosion and that it is being monitored. Civilians within a 20-mile radius of the power plant have been evacuated and iodine is being distributed.

The current death toll from the quake stands at 200, but thousands are feared trapped underneath the rubble and an estimated 9,500 are missing in northeast Japan.