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.

Read more

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig