Another earthquake has occurred off the coast of Japan. According to The Wall Street Journal, the undersea quake was a 7.4-magnitude and hit 25 miles off the coast of Miyagi prefecture. A tsunami warning has been issued, and Japan’s meteorological agency said a wave of up to one meter could hit the same stretch of coast that was devastated by the tsunami that followed last month’s 9.0 earthquake.
Japanese broadcaster NHK is reporting that the nuclear power plants in the area, included the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, were already shut down and that no emergency was being issued.
Crews are still trying to bring the Fukushima Daiichi plant under control, four weeks after the earlier earthquake and tsunami knocked out power to its reactors’ vital cooling systems. The Wall Street Journal reported today that Japanese officials are considering enlarging the current 20 kilometer (12 mile) evacuation zone around the nuclear plant as concerns about radiation leaking from some of its reactors continues to grow. U.S. experts assisting the Japanese efforts have recommended a 80 kilometer evacuation zone.
Last month, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) halted the import of produce and dairy products from areas of Japan near the damaged reactors, and is screening seafood and other products imported from that country. Less than 4 percent of the food imported into the U.S. comes from Japan. According to the FDA, the most common Japanese imports include seafood, snack foods and processed fruits and vegetables.
Trace amounts of radiation from Japan have been detected in air and rainwater in several U.S. states including Alaska, Alabama, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Vermont, South Carolina, and Washington. Traces of radioactive <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Radiation-Exposure-Environmental-Contamination-Dumping-Spill-Lawsuit">iodine-131 have turned up in samples of milk in Spokane, Washington and San Luis Obispo County, California. In all cases, U.S. officials have maintained that the radiation levels detected so far are not high enough to impact human health.