Strong aftershocks kept Japan on edge Saturday, a day after a devastating earthquake and tidal waves battered the country’s northeastern coast. Officials estimated the death toll at 1,700, but thousands more are missing. –JCL

The Guardian:

4.50 pm: Here’s a late afternoon round-up of events on Saturday in Japan, following the earthquake and tsunami that have devastated the eastern side of the country.

• There has been an explosion at the Fukushima No 1 nuclear power plant in north-eastern Japan, close to the epicentre of the quake. Officials say the blast is not a meltdown and radiation levels were low because the explosion had not affected the reactor core container.

• Tens of thousands of people in the areas surrounding Fukushima No 1 and No 2 plants have been urged to evacuate.

• Dozens of aftershocks, some as strong as magnitude 6, struck Japan on Saturday. Japan’s state broadcaster has warned people in coastal areas that there could be further tsunamis.

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