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Japan quake causes nuclear plant leak, kills eight

Posted on: July 18, 2007

KASHIWAZAKI, Japan : A powerful earthquake struck Japan on Monday, killing eight people, injuring hundreds and causing radioactive water to leak from a nuclear plant that also caught fire. The mid-morning quake, striking northwest of Tokyo and registering 6.8 on the Richter scale, also damaged hundreds of homes, reducing some to heaps of rubble. “The television set and washing machine were thrown across the room,” said Satoshi Hirokawa, 51, whose house in the worst-hit city of Kashiwazaki was partially destroyed. “But I felt relieved as at least I could confirm that my family was safe.” And water contain a “small amount of radioactive material” leaked from the massive Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, where a fire caused by the quake sent black smoke pouring into the sky for hours.

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A man passes a crack on a road in Kashiwazaki

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Japanese resident Toshio Obayashi stands beside the remains of his damaged home in Kariwa.

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black smoke rises from a facility of Tokyo Electric Power’s nuclear plant in Niigata

Source: AFP

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