Tokyo (AsiaNews) - A building attached to a nuclear reactor in Fukushima exploded this morning, just as the Japanese government launched a massive relief operation after the "mega" earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the north-east of the country.
The information is currently very unclear. The nuclear power plant in Fukushima Daichi (250 km from Tokyo), has been damaged by the earthquake which broke the cooling systems of the two reactors.Because of overheating all feared the possible fusion of at least one of the reactors. The Tokyo Electric Power, which manages the site, said it was trying to control the cooling system and evacuated more than 51thousand people living within 10 km of the facility were evacuated. This morning one of the two reactors blew up and it seems to have involved four workers. The radioactive values near the power station are 1000 times higher than normal.
Meanwhile, the police today updated figures of the victims: 1400 dead or missing.At least 200 bodies were recovered on the beach in Sendai, the area closest to the epicentre, overwhelmed by the tidal wave that penetrated more than 5 km inland.At least 1,200 homes were affected and there are over 700 missing and 1128 wounded.
The violent earthquake a few hundred kilometers off the coast of Miyagi prefecture, has been called "the most important earthquake" for over 100 years. Nearly 6 million households are without electricity and running water.
Rescue operations have begun, but the teams have not yet reached the most affected places. In five provinces tent cities are being prepared to house the displaced. 50 thousand soldiers have joined emergency teams to assist relief efforts.
Moreover rescue teams from neighbouring countries such as South Korea, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, should arrive later today. The United States is also directing an aircraft carrier to the area.China also said it was ready to give all necessary assistance, if requested.
Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI expressed his sympathy to the affected populations, with a telegram sent to the Bishops' Conference of Japan. In the message, the pontiff said he was "deeply saddened by the tragic and brutal effects of the severe earthquake" and that he prayed for the dead and the grieving families, invoking the strength and consolation of God's blessing. The pope expressed his sympathy to all those who are bringing "aid, comfort and support to victims of disaster."
CBN REPORT: Get ready to "spring forward" and give up an extra hour of sleep-- daylight saving time will officially take place this weekend.
At 2 a.m. local time, Sunday, all of the U.S. except for Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas --will observe the change. It will mean trading one hour of sleep for more evening sunshine for those backyard barbecues.
The shift also serves as a reminder to install new batteries in warning devices such as smoke detectors and hazard warning radios.
A federal law signed in 2005 extends daylight saving time by one month, reportedly to save more energy. The time adjustment originally began during World War I with the same intention.
Standard time will return on Nov. 6.
ALL AFRICA REPORT: Police in Ethiopia have arrested at least 130 people who are suspected of involvement in burning down dozens of churches near Jimma town in Ethiopia's western Oromia region, where Muslims are the majority.
The arson of dozens of churches and homes in a Christian area of the Asendabo district in Jimma after a Christian allegedly desecrated a copy of Muslim holy book, the Koran, by tearing it up.
Police said it has pressed charges against the 130 suspects and said they were pursuing many others.
Over one thousand people are are said to have been engaged in the attacks which, according to sources, also has led to the burring down of 59 churches and at least 28 homes of Christians.
According to Jimma residents over 4,000 Christians have fled their homes in fear.
Ethiopia is about 60 percent Christian and 40 percent Muslim however such incidents of violence between the different religious communities are relatively rare.
Feast: March 12
Chronicler, born at Constantinople, about 758; died in Samothracia, probably 12 March, 817, on which day he is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology. He was the son of Isaac, imperial governor of the islands of the White Sea, and of Theodora, of whose family nothing is known. After the early death of his parents he came to the Court of Constantine Copronimus. He was married at the age of twelve, but induced his wife to lead a life of virginity, and in 799, after the death of his father-in-law, they separated with mutual consent to embrace the religious state, she choosing a convent on an island near Constantinople, while he entered the monastery called Polychronius in the district of Sigriano near Cyzicus. Later he built a monastery on his own lands on the island of Calonymus (now Calomio). After six years he returned to Sigriano, founded an abbey known by the name "of the great acre", and governed it as abbot. As such he was present at the second General Council of Nicaea, 787, and signed its decrees in defense of the sacred images. When the emperor Leo the Armenian again began his iconoclastic warfare, he ordered Theophanes to be brought to Constantinople and tried in vain to induce him to condemn what had been sanctioned by the council. Theophanes was cast into prison and for two years suffered cruel treatment; he was then banished to Samothracia, where, overwhelmed with afflictions, he lived only seventeen days and wrought many miracles after death.
At the urgent request of his friend George Syncellus (d. 810), Theophanes undertook the continuation of his chronicle, during the years 810-15 (P. G., CVIII, 55). He treated of the time from the year 284-813, and made use of material already prepared by Syncellus, probably also the extracts from the works of Socrates, Sozomenus, and Theodoret, made by Theodore Lector, and the city chronicle of Constantinople. The work consists of two parts, the first giving the history, arranged according to years, the other containing chronological tables, full of inaccuracies, and therefore of little value. It seems that Theophanes had only prepared the tables, leaving vacant spaces for the proper dates, but that these had been filled out by someone else (Hurter, "Nomencl." I, Innsbruck, 1903, 735). The first part, though lacking in historical precision and criticism, which could scarcely be expected from a man of such ascetical disposition, greatly surpasses the majority of Byzantine chronicles (Krumbacher, "Gesch. der byz. Litt., 1897, 342). The chronicle was edited at Paris in 1655 by Goar; again at Venice in 1729 with annotations and corrections by Combefis. A Latin version was made by Anastasius Bibliothecarius, and both were ably edited by de Boor (Leipzig, 1883).
|Matthew 4: 1 - 11|
|1||Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.|
|2||And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.|
|3||And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."|
|4||But he answered, "It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"|
|5||Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple,|
|6||and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, `He will give his angels charge of you,' and `On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"|
|7||Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, `You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"|
|8||Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them;|
|9||and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me."|
|10||Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! for it is written, `You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'"|
|11||Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.|